Manitoba Environment, Climate and Parks is advising of a mandatory evacuation order and expanded closure area in the northern portion of Whiteshell Provincial Park effective May 24, 2022. Manitoba Parks continues to co-ordinate with Emergency Measures Organization and Manitoba Hydro in its preparedness and response. Click the link below for more information.
- A local state of emergency has been declared for Whiteshell Provincial Park effective from May 20, 2022 to June 19, 2022 due to rising river and lake levels within the park.
- Betula Lake Subdivision was evacuated May 21, 2022.
- Otter Falls, Eleanor Lake, Dorothy Lake, and Nutimik subdivisions have an evacuation deadline of Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 5pm.
- Sunday, May 22, 2022 – all backcountry camping closed.
- Monday, May 23, 2022 – all nightly and seasonal camping closed at Dorothy, Opapiskaw and Nutimik Campgrounds. As well nightly camping closed at Big Whiteshell campground due to rough road conditions. A full list of closures is available on the Manitoba Parks Webpage.
- No person should reside or enter into the closed area.
Questions and Answers from Manitoba Parks
I live in the park, who do I contact to register?
Manitoba Parks will be contacting all permanent residents in the expanded closure area starting Tuesday afternoon to collect information and register people with emergency services.
When will the closure at end?
Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure along with staff from Manitoba Parks are communicating several times a day with regards the current condition of Provincial Road 307 and safe access for the northern end of Whiteshell Provincial Park. The need for the closure will be re-assed as conditions improve and safe access can be restored.
Is my cottage/ camper/ vehicles going to be safe in the closed area?
24/7 security checkpoints are in place at each end of the closure. During the closure no person will be allowed to reside or enter the closed area. Security will be at either end of the closure 24/7 (just like Betula). Safety and monitoring patrols will be used inside the closed area.
Can I get in to sand bag during the closure?
No person will be allowed to enter the area while the closure is in effect. Sandbag operations will stop at the Otter Falls Ball Diamond at 12pm on May 24, 2022.
Why is this area being closed?
Water continues to rise along the lakes that make up the Winnipeg River system (Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor, and Sylvia Lakes as well as Pointe du Bois) as water moves downstream from Lake of the Woods. Many highways are flooded, with the potential for further flooding, making travel conditions treacherous.
What about the Hydro Dam Safety?
Hydro is monitoring the dams for safety, hydro dams are built to withstand events that are far beyond this flood, this closure is because it is anticipated that road access will become dangerous as the Winnipeg River continues to rise.
What help is available for permanent residents?
Permanent residents that evacuate can qualify for assistance called Emergency Social Services (ESS) including finding lodging. They should contact their insurance company as well. Parks staff will be phoning all the permanent residents in the area on Tuesday to get people registered for ESS. This has already been done for the permanent residents at Betula.
If people want to register before Tuesday, they can call the parks hotline 204-340-6769 and leave their name and number
What should I do before I evacuate?
The Manitoba flooding webpage also has information about what to do before you evacuate your home: https://www.manitoba.ca/flooding/
Click the link below for an evacuation checklist
I am self-sufficient. Can I stay and run my pumps?
The evacuation order requires that no one can reside or enter the closed area. However Manitoba Parks is collecting the information of people who feel that they want to choose to stay at their own properties and are completely self-sufficient and recognizing that emergency services may be limited. At this time this is just a collection of information. They will need your lot, block, lake, full name, if you are permanent resident, and cell phone. You can call 204-654-6769 (parks info line) and provide this information. Safety is the first priority and this list does not guarantee or provide permission to stay, but is a way to assess the situation more accurately. Conservation Officers will also be going door to door to ensure that everyone is aware of the closure and may also take your information on site.
Phone Numbers/ Websites:
- Parks info line for water, flood and closures: 204-340-6769 between 8am and 6pm daily.
- North Whiteshell Emergency: RCMP at 204-348-7177 in the North Whiteshell.
- Camping 1-888-482-2267 for the Parks Reservation Service.
- Environment, Climate and Parks General inquiry line 1-800-214-6497.
- Highway conditions: Manitoba511.ca
- Manitoba Parks: https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/index.html for a list of other closures.
- Manitoba Hydro Water Flow New Release: https://www.hydro.mb.ca/articles/2022/05/manitoba_hydro_advises_extreme_caution_on_waterways/