COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Floodwaters overrun fields near Cromer earlier this week. The Brandon Flying Club will be offering sightseeing flights to the public on Sundays throughout the summer.
Municipalities are relying on help from anywhere they can get it as water has stretched infrastructure to its capacity — and well beyond.
Jason Creller, manager for Sparks Oilfield Services, said Tuesday that they had two vac trucks working steadily for about 40 hours trying to alleviate some of pressure from the water left behind by torrential downpours.
"We’ve had guys working 12-hour shifts since it started, and they’re switching out to keep the trucks working," Creller said.
The company was contracted by the Town of Virden, whose sewer system was in desperate need of an overhaul even before the latest storm.
Creller said Monday was three to four times worse than Sunday as water continued gathering, filling basements and cutting off access to some roads.
"It’s certainly a challenge to drive around town right now," he said.
The deluge will have impacts on the oil sector, too, as leases are flooded out, making it next to impossible to move any rigs.
Washed-out roads are limiting access in many areas, forcing some rigs to shut down after completing the hole they are currently working on.
Meanwhile, railway companies in Westman are struggling with the deluge as well.
Parts of Canadian Pacific’s locations southeast of Saskatoon have been temporarily affected, but its mainline is open with rerouting options in place, according to a company spokeswoman.
"CP begins monitoring and planning for potential flooding during the fall," Salem Woodrow said.
"A detailed plan is in place and a team of experts from CP operations has been monitoring daily forecasts, taking water level measurements at key points and making frequent track patrols to ensure our infrastructure continues to meet all safety requirements."
Canadian National has suspended operations on some branch lines in Manitoba to "ensure the safety of our crews and operation," spokeswoman Emily Hamer said.
"CN is diverting affected traffic wherever possible in order to minimize the impact on customers."
While the flooding has ripped through Westman, in many ways, it has also brought people together through the crisis.
In Boissevain, 15-year-old Rylan Rommelaere asked his mother, Lori, to drive him to Deloraine so he could help some of the people fighting to save their homes.
"I can help. I will go wherever I am needed," Rylan told his mother.
After checking in on some of their family who live in the community, the teen worked to fill and carry sandbags, hauled water from basements and moved furniture to higher ground.
Members of the local senior hockey team, the Deloraine Royals, also pitched in.
"What an amazing community," Lori said about Deloraine, where she grew up.
» Twitter: @CharlesTweed
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 3, 2014