Reston residents make their way through some of the deepest parts of the floodwaters after heavy rains last June.
One year after a short but powerful burst of rain washed over the RM of Pipestone and the village of Reston, there is still nearly $1 million worth of infrastructure repairs needed in the area.
One hundred and sixteen disaster sites — roads, bridges, culverts and the like — were identified by the municipality and the province following the flood in June 2013, according to Reeve Ross Tycoles. Approximately $400,000 of provincial Disaster Financial Assistance has been spent on about 50 of those sites.
But the bulk of the work, including the more expensive projects, still needs to be addressed. And when the final expense claim gets sent to the government, the cost will be almost on par with the historic flood of 2011.
"Honestly, we’ve had no trouble," Tycoles said. "We haven’t had too many issues with how they (the province) are going to pay ... we’re fine with how they’ve handled it."
On the night of June 22 last year, the storm dumped as much as eight inches of rain in just a few hours in the area, with Reston bearing the brunt.
The municipality — which includes Reston, Cromer, Sinclair and Pipestone — remained hunkered down in a state of emergency for days afterwards, with several roads and at least four Reston homes under evacuation recommendations.
Just two weeks later, Reston was hit yet again, along with the nearby tornado-ravaged village of Pipestone.
While many of the residential claims, many of which came from the village of Reston, were approved by the Emergency Measures Organization in the following months, Tycoles said about 15 to 20 were denied — even following the appeals process.
Tycoles said he questions why many of those claims were denied, and municipal officials will be sending a letter to the province on the anniversary of the flood next week to push the government to reconsider.
"Some (homeowners) were happy, some weren’t," Tycoles said.
"There’s some that had major losses and think they should have been covered." A few got cheques for as little as $100, he added.
The two levels of government have also made the first steps towards long-term flood mitigation in the area, but it’s still going to be a while before those plans come to life.
A $100,000 engineering study, largely bankrolled by the province, is about to begin.
"The worst thing about it is it takes time," Tycoles said.
Meanwhile, wet spring conditions in southwestern Manitoba are again putting the brakes on the oil industry, farming and the construction needed to bring the area back to normal.
Other southwest Manitoba areas, including the rural municipalities of Albert, Edward and Arthur, declared states of emergency more than a week ago due to water, which has become almost an annual event.
And the area was told to brace for more rain yesterday.
Environment Canada issued a thunderstorm watch for the southwest corner of the province, including Melita, Waskada, Hartney, Boissevain, Deloraine and Turtle Mountain Provincial Park.
Environment Canada said conditions were favourable for dangerous thunderstorms capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and flooding rain.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 19, 2014