More homes flooded and more people leave Peguis First Nation in Manitoba

Some 200 more people have left Peguis First Nation as floodwaters continue to threaten areas of Manitoba.

Chief Glenn Hudson says the Fisher River came up a little overnight and now appears to be stable, but the rise has left more homes surrounded by water or with water inside.

More than 1,400 people have left the community since Saturday, with most of them staying in Winnipeg.

Many parts of the province are dealing with high water after a heavy winter snowfall and three spring storms in as many weeks.

The Town of Arborg, southeast of Peguis, has closed off its main highway intersection due to flooding and has large pumps moving the water into the Icelandic River.

Further south, sections of the main highway between Winnipeg and the United States border have been closed, forcing drivers to take long detours around the swollen Red River.

In Peguis, those who stayed behind were using boats to ferry supplies and people home, as well as to fight a fire.

"We even had a fire at one (trailer) because the heater underneath was flooded out and it shorted," Hudson said Wednesday.

The weather was providing some relief. After three days without precipitation, the Fisher River through Peguis appeared to have levelled off. About 15 kilometres upstream, the river had dropped about 20 centimetres, data from Environment Canada indicated.

But Peguis still had snow on the ground that was melting and adding to the river water coming from the south.

In Winnipeg and the Red River Valley, the water is not expected to crest until next week.

Already, the river has grown into a lake in some areas, covering rural roads and farmland.

But unlike Peguis, communities in the Red River Valley are protected by dikes and diversion channels that allow homes and businesses to stay dry.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2022.