Monday, May 16, 2011

The must-have bag in Manitoba this spring

Not by Amy Butler. Not by Coach or Gucci.

Let me introduce you to...The Sand Bag.

We got well acquainted over the past weekend. As you may or may not know, up here in Manitoba, Canada, we are experiencing the worst flood that we have on record. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes, and will likely be unable to return until the waters have receded in July or August to see what damage and losses have occurred.

Water from all over the western parts of Canada has travelled to us via the Assiniboine River. Its banks are unable to contain it, and it is being diverted into farmlands, and into Lake Manitoba. This is the lake where my husband and I recently bought ourselves a little family cottage.

Built in the 1950s, it is quirky and nothing fancy, but to us, it is the place where we find the most peace and joy in the entire world. We spend summer days on the beach collecting shells and frogs, swimming and boating, going for long walks, spending time with friends and family, having campfires and gazing at the stars.

But. Our 30 feet of sandy beach is now gone as the lake rises from the diverted river water, bringing with it who knows what kind of contaminants. Our lake is approximately 25 miles/40 kilometers WIDE.....can you imagine the volume of water required to raise the lake that much in just 2 weeks? And the water is expected to continue to rise as water will continue to be diverted here into June. We are hoping our cottage , and others, will not be lost to this growing sea.

We are lucky. This is not our primary home. This is a slow flood, not a tsunami like recently in Japan. No lives will be lost. Only homes and livelihoods. But....my heart still aches to see it slowly rising, with so little to be done.

So, along with our friends and neighbors, we picked up some sand bags. We made some barriers. We worked together and were reminded why we have "Friendly Manitoba" on our licence plates. And, we are hoping for some sunshine.

16 comments:

felicity said...

I don't know what to say except that I am hoping for the best possible outcome in this awful situation.

Deb said...

Hello Kristie,
I'm from the US, and I fear the news has focused on the area around the Mississippi River. I had no idea of the flooding in Manitoba. What an incredible amount of water. I hope your little summer retreat is safe...and you stay safe!

Deb from ClutteredQuilter.blogspot.com

quiltilicious said...

I didn't know anything about this. Fingers crossed for everyone

Miriam said...

I am with you and hope that there won´t be too much damage in your, your friends and your families homes!!!

Little Blue Mouse said...

What a massive amount of water there must be for it to take so long to recede, I just can't imagine it.
I hope your cottage fares well.
Take care.

Lesly said...

I keep watching on Newsworld and it is heartbreaking. I heard that the Assiniboine may be cresting, though, although who knows how long it will take for the water to recede. I have donated to Canadian Red Cross. Fingers crossed for your community and your cottage.

LynCC said...

Oh, no. :( We've got a lot of flooding issues down here, too. I'm sorry you're facing this tragedy with your cottage. I wonder if it's worse, emotionally, coming on slowly like this than if it would just do what it was going to do in one day and go away.

Kati said...

I'm so sorry. This is certainly the year of the floods. We have had flooding in some places here already and the snow in the mountains hasn't even started to melt yet. Thinking of you. I hope everything works out okay.

randi---i have to say said...

praying for you and the people who live by you! my hope is for sunshine and dry weather. also, that people would continue to come together and help each other!

mybricole said...

I saw the Manitoba flooding on the news the other night and thought of you. So much time is spent waiting when it comes to floods. I hope it settles down soon. I will keep my fingers crossed for your community!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

Thinking of you and hoping the water doesn't rise too high. Here in Saskatchewan, there is lots of water too, but not so much flooding. Hope you have some of that relaxing time at your cabin this summer when this all passes.

Shay said...

What an awful situation. I cant even imagine what it must be like for those people who have been flooded and cant get back in for months to inspect the damage.

Keeping my fingers crossed that your piece of Paradise is not affected.

Katie B. said...

I'm hoping for the best! It must be such a hopeless feeling to see the waters rising.

Marg said...

Thinking of you and others affected by this, and hope the water doesn't rise too much. I'll keep my fingers crossed. It really has been a terrible year for flood and water damage, first here in Queensland, then the Tsunami in Japan, the U.S. and now your area. I hope this is the last of it.

Natalie said...

Hi Kristie! I didn't know there was so much flooding in Canada! I hope that the sandbags hold up, and that the flooding stays away from your home and area-- I'll keep my fingers crossed for good weather and plenty of sunshine!

amy dame said...

oh, i'm so sorry. my uncle lives in the area where the worst of the red river flood was in 97, and it was terrible. most of my family is out by portage, where they've released the water, but luckily none of my close family in impacted. (i did see a 3rd cousin on the news though!) my grandparent's best friends are right in the middle of the flood area, and i know they're having a rough time, having lived in that house for most of their lives together. i hope your cottage is holding up okay.