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RM tells all west of Highway 240 they must leave

THE RM of Portage la Prairie ordered residents of 16 permanent homes and 104 seasonal cottages to evacuate from Delta Beach Sunday evening.

The evacuation area covered all residents west of Highway 240 and included about 40 permanent residents and 200 cottagers, said Don Clarkson, president of the Delta Beach Association.

"At this time, the evacuation is mandatory as there are escalating concerns over safety and access," the Delta Beach Association website said Sunday.

Those being evacuated were asked to call the RM of Portage la Prairie at 204-857-3821 or go to the municipal office at 35 Tupper St. South.

Registration is required for people ordered to evacuate in order to access provincial compensation for accommodation and a living allowance, the website said.

The Delta Beach Association website said there was a voluntary evacuation notice for East Hackberry and Ridge Road.

Delta Beach is located on the southern tip of Lake Manitoba.

Clarkson said the flooding and level of lake Manitoba is comparable to what he remembered seeing in May of 2011.

"The lake is extremely high... It came up very similar to what it did in 2011," he said.

Kam Blight, reeve of the RM of Portage la Prairie, said the evacuation is mostly a precautionary measure as the flood crests. A major concern is the east dike of the Portage diversion, where it enters into Lake Manitoba, he said.

"It's fear of the great unknown. We've been thrown another curveball," Blight said.

There is concern about the infrastructure of Delta, he said, as it makes up a significant part of the RM.

"We have a lot of homes and agricultural properties we're concerned about," Blight said.

Clarkson said he is disappointed with how the province has managed the lake and the diversions that were opened to help with the flood.

"We're not sure why we're less important than the people who live between Portage and Winnipeg," he said.

The Delta Beach Association owns about 200 acres of property on the lakefront, Clarkson said, which have been underwater for the last eight years.

"That's private property that we all pay taxes on that we have no use for," he said.

oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca greg.lockert@freepress.mb.ca

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