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Selinger says 400 troops to help with flood situation

Soldiers from CFB Shilo, who along with members of the Portage la Prairie Municipality, were filling sandbags at the Portage Yard, Saturday, July 5.

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Soldiers from CFB Shilo, who along with members of the Portage la Prairie Municipality, were filling sandbags at the Portage Yard, Saturday, July 5. (TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Construction crews work to bulk up the east side of the Portage Diversion near Highway 1, Saturday, July 5.

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Construction crews work to bulk up the east side of the Portage Diversion near Highway 1, Saturday, July 5. (TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Premier Greg Selinger provided an update on the  Manitoba flooding situation this afternoon.

Selinger said 400 Canadian troops are being dispatched to help in various locations in southern Manitoba. All troops should be on the ground by tonight. The Free Press reported earlier today that troops are already on the ground in Southport doing sandbagging.

Selinger emphasized that using the Hoop and Holler Bend to divert flooding remains a back-up, a third option after using the Portage Diversion and the Assiniboine dikes.

The Assiniboine River is expected to crest in Brandon at midnight tonight.

Crews are addressing 12 areas for dike reinforcement in the next two days. Many of these dikes are the same ones that were used during the 2011 flood.

Selinger said the government learned to declare this year's flood as a provincial emergency earlier than they did in 2011. Calls were made to Prime Minister Stephen Harper two days ago asking for extra military help on the ground in Manitoba.

Selinger said if volunteers want to get involved with sandbagging they should start by calling their local municipalities to see where help is needed. He said that Portage La Prairie and Headingley are two of the areas in need. The RM of St. François Xavier also put out a call for sandbaggers this morning.

wfpvideo:3660652818001:wfpvideo
History

Updated on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 7:31 PM CDT:
Adds Canadian Press video.

Updated on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:48 PM CDT:
Corrects typo.

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