The Assinboine River in Brandon has ebbed down slightly as of Monday morning.
City readings taken at 7:30 a.m. show the river was at a height of 1,182.18 feet above sea level — down almost half a foot since yesterday morning. As measured at First Street, 1,182.69 was the highest level that the city had measured, about 10:30 Sunday morning.
The city held a media briefing at 10 a.m. to update people on the ongoing flood fight. However, with the river levels decreasing and the dikes holding fast, the city says this will be the last regularly scheduled briefing.
Hold your garbage for a week
City operations manager Rod Sage asked Brandon residents — in particular those north of the river — to avoid putting out their trash and recycling containers tomorrow, despite it being their collection day.
"If they aren't full, please wait a week," he said. "If at all possible, please keep your containers on your property."
The river is expected to slowly go down over the next week or so before cresting again around July 17, lower than the first crest.
"But it will still be a significant rise in the river," said Brian Kayes, the city's emergency coordinator, at this morning's briefing.
"The river cresting is telling us that our dike has been high enough, and that essentially we are half-way through this response. The river's come up, and now we have to manage everything while the water comes down," he said. "We're hoping that happens quickly, but we're here to manage it on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week basis until the river is safely back in its banks."
Kayes will be at tonight's City Council meeting, he said, to request that they pass a resolution asking the province for a disaster financial assistance program that includes all of the water that Brandon has experienced this summer — including the storms and the river flooding.
He said that residents can help by documenting what's happened at their own homes.
"Continue to take lots of photographs of the damage on your property," he said. "Take notes, and keep your receipts."
Brandon Police Sgt. Larry Yanick said that there had been few problems in and around the dikes. He said that 18th Street traffic was flowing well, and he attributed it to people choosing to take alternate routes in and out of the city.
He also said that three experienced kayakers who had entered the city on the Assiniboine River after coming off the Little Saskatchewan River had decided to leave the river at 18th Street.
"They thought it was too dangerous," Yanick said. He also said that police had warned off a group of youth with an inflatable raft along Kirkcaldy Drive, and a family that were attempting to catch frogs in the floodwater.
"And we will continue to charge people if they are caught in a no-trespassing area," Yanick said.
Meanwhile, cleanup continues from Saturday's wind storm.
"The most urgent areas were cleaned on Sunday, said city operations manager Rod Sage, but he said it will take a couple of weeks to get it all cleaned up.
"It will probably take a solid week to clean up the cemetery," he said.
Trees on city property will be dealt with by city staff, and people can report them by calling the enquiry line at 204-729-2186. However, trees on private property have to be dealt with by the property owner, he said. Tree debris will have to hauled to the city landfill site; crews will not be picking up tree branches left in back lanes or on boulevards.
Sage added that people who have had property damage should contact their insurance agent.