Flooding still a problem after 190 years

When a person loses their home to flooding, it must be a devastating feeling. One would not want to experience that once, let alone multiple times.
Admittedly, I have never lived in a flood prone house so my opinion may be slanted but why would a person buy or build a house in a flood prone area?
The many communities and farms of the Red River Valley have been diked, some for many, many years. They have it down to a science. Maintain the dikes, watch the flood forecasts, add sandbags as necessary. They also prepare for the flood season by having extra food and supplies on hand.
Henceforth, absolutely no building permits should be given in flood plain properties. The fact that we’re still being “surprised” by flooding speaks to the insanity of a lack of planning and prevention.
That all said, there are areas that are going to be flooded this year that may never have been flooded before. Freak ice jams can be an issue. More of an issue is the excess and non-licensed drainage of lakes and farm land. It’s a normal reaction for a farmer or a cottage owner to want to lower the water level. But we all know water has to go somewhere. Some neighbour, either near or far, will have to receive the run-off. In the spring time especially, there may well not be the capacity to receive it.
Keep your eye on the Shellmouth dam this year and the City of Brandon and everything in between. The Province of Manitoba has agreed to receive water from Fishing Lake in Saskatchewan into the Assiniboine by way of a new drainage ditch. We could certainly see some very interesting damage along the Assiniboine and the consequences may be felt all the way to Winnipeg and beyond.
It would have indeed been better if houses and farm buildings had not been built in the flood plain but the necessary measures have been mostly taken.
So it’s amazing that 190 years after the first documented and reported “flood of the century” that communities are still allowing construction in flood prone areas. Yes, it’s 190 years since the early 1820s Red River flooding when settlers reported that the only piece of land still sticking out of the water was the hill where Stony Mountain Penitentiary perches today.
Those years should have been sufficient warning that while the Red River Valley may well be farmable, it should never have been settled and built up with flood prone buildings.
Today, we still have some communities flooding and hear about them erecting temporary dikes. What’s with this temporary business when some of them are costing millions of dollars?
To be flooded once can be termed an accident. To be flooded twice could be called unfortunate, but to be flooded many times is called lunacy.
Municipalities and the province have been quite content to collect taxes and fees from property for many decades and yet there are annually floods prone properties that are still not protected.
Here’s the deal. The RMs and the provinces should either agree to buy out flood prone property or protect it. If homeowners turn down either offer, then they should be on their own for flood defenses.

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kwaddell@kenwaddell.ca This is a Sunrize Group internet solution (204)226-2247