Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Manitoba Faces $40M Tab to Rebuild Provincial Parks after Devastating 2011 Flood

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Manitoba Faces $40M Tab to Rebuild Provincial Parks after Devastating 2011 Flood

Article excerpt

Four months under water, up to $40M to rebuild

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WINNIPEG - A report commissioned by the Manitoba government says it could cost up to $40 million to repair and rebuild provincial parks devastated by spring floods in 2011.

The report, delivered to the government last year and recently obtained by The Canadian Press, details the damage caused by the flooding -- one provincial park stood under water for four months -- and sets out three options to rebuild with price tags ranging from $17 million to almost $40 million.

"Some buildings in parks that experienced higher flood levels and longer flood periods had significant mould issues," says the report prepared by engineering company AECOM.

"In any case, where mould is significant the buildings were recommended to be demolished/reconstructed. This approach was strongly reinforced by related studies where assessment teams noted in May 2012 that mould in flooded buildings had increased substantially beyond levels observed in the late fall of 2011.

"Mould poses substantial health and safety concerns."

Manitoba experienced one of the worst and longest floods in its history in the spring of 2011. Officials operated the Portage Diversion, a channel that funnels water from the Assiniboine River into Lake Manitoba, over its designed capacity. That pushed water levels up on Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, cut off roads and damaged homes and cottages.

Provincial parks on the water's edge were hit hard. The report says campsites and parking lots were buried in sand and silt. At some parks, floodwater rose as high as washroom ceilings and park buildings.

In St. Ambrose park, on the shores of Lake Manitoba, the water ate away at land and buried much of what remained under a metre of sand. Spruce Woods park on the Assiniboine River southwest of Winnipeg was under water for four months and still hasn't reopened completely. …

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