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Sandbagging at Hoop and Holler Bend to protect homes

Vehicles sit on the road at the Hoop and Holler Bend, Saturday, July 5.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Vehicles sit on the road at the Hoop and Holler Bend, Saturday, July 5.

HOOP AND HOLLER BEND - Sandbagging efforts at this small corner of the province are to begin shortly to protect homes immediately in the path of a flood surge to be deliberately released by the province as early as Monday.

About half a dozen homes will be surrounded by water-filled tiger dams by the army, which has been called in by the province to protect 150 homes near Hoop and Holler and up to 200 more that hug the Assiniboine River between Portage La Prairie and Headingley.

The military was called in Thursday by the province after Premier Greg Selinger requested their assistance in a phone call to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The province says their assistance is critical if the province wants to protect so many homes before the flood crest arrives here early next week.

Ed Connery, a former provincial politician, who lives just south of Hoop and Holler, a bend in Hwy. 331 south-east of Portage la Prairie, said this morning the deliberate breach could be devastating for the area as crops are well in the ground.

"If they do what they're saying, our whole farm will be flooded," he said.

The province says it plans to cut a hole in the bend to release as much as 5,000 cubic feet per second of water to ease pressure on dikes on the Assiniboine River as the crest moves down the river.

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