Winnipeg Free Press
By: Nick Martin Posted: 07/12/2016 6:12 PM
Flooding in the Whiteshell is bad, but it probably hasn’t caused enough damage to qualify for federal disaster assistance, officials with the Department of Sustainable Development said Tuesday.
“At this time, the assessment of damage continues. From what has been completed to date, it would appear that the Disaster Financial Assistance eligible damage from the flooding as a result of the rain in the Whiteshell Park and surrounding municipalities will not meet the cost-sharing threshold of $3.9 million under the federal Disaster Financial Assistance Agreements,” the province said.
Meanwhile, the province said, heavy rains that have caused flooding in parts of Saskatchewan do not appear likely to cause problems for rivers and lakes in western Manitoba. “They won’t be sending a ton of water our way,” said a Manitoba official.
While much of the Whiteshell is up and running again, and water from the enormous rainstorm in late June is receding, Provincial Road 312 from the junction of Highway 44 to the Ontario border remains closed, currently due to washouts. The road provides access to most of Caddy Lake, as well as McDougall’s and Big Island landings on West Hawk Lake, and to the Ontario village of Ingolf.
“As the water leaves, it weakens portions of the road,” said the provincial spokesman.
An Amphibex continues to work on Caddy Lake dredging so-called rogue bogs, chunks of land that have broken off and are floating freely, some of which has clogged up drainage areas, particularly the tunnel under the railway bridge from which Caddy flows into South Cross Lake.
Since Friday, the Amphibex has dredged up 30 truckloads of rogue bogs and other debris from Caddy Lake.
Most major trails in the area remain closed, including the Mantario Trail. The Mantario’s first footbridge along the Whiteshell River — which connects West Hawk and Caddy lakes — is damaged and sitting in the water, covered with debris and separated from the trail on either side with rapidly flowing water.
Also closed are McGillivray Falls Hiking Trail, Bear Lake Hiking Trail, Hunt Lake Hiking Trail and Whiteshell River Hiking Trail.
The Caddy Lake tunnel is closed, cutting access to the popular canoe route to Sailing Lake.
The province said Tuesday the Falcon Lake Trail has reopened, but is not advising travel along the South Whiteshell Trans-Canada Trail until its condition has been assessed.