Sunday, April 10, 2011

Friendly Manitoba?

I drove across the Red River earlier today, and it looks like it is rising pretty rapidly.  The fact that it has been raining this week, and the forecast for Monday is 15C will not make things any better.  I've helped sandbag in 1997 and 2009.  Unfortunately, I am still recovering from two herniated discs in my lower back, so I am not sure I will be able to pitch in and help this year.

It amazes me the attitude of some people in this city.  The Winnipeg Free Press published an article that says the city is in need of 900 volunteers to help sandbag.  Reading some of the comments disgusted me.  Hundreds (perhaps thousands) of Winnipeg homes are in danger of flooding, and some readers have questioned why they should help at all.  Here are some examples:

"Pay me $50/hour with benefits and full injury coverage if my back blows out and I will sandbag these expensive properties."
Dirty Ernie

"My husband and I were having this exact conversation as we drove past Kingston Row yesterday afternoon. Live on the riverbank? Not my problem."
Prairie Chicken

"It isn't my problem people built so close to the river. You want the view then you can pay me to work."
The Orange Rod Blog

I guess people are quick to forget that Winnipeg and the surrounding area were built on what was once a lake thousands of years ago.  The basin floods every so often, and if were not for the Red River Floodway, we would all be submerged in water by now, regardless of where you live.   

We should just be thankful we are protected by the Floodway.  Residents of Southern Manitoba outside the Floodway are not so lucky.  Many flooded homes, farms, etc. are miles from the Red River.  I am not surprised the author of the Orange Rod Blog feels this way.  She has made comments in the past referring to Manitobans who live outside the Perimeter as "idiots" and "rednecks." 

Having said that, if you want to help families and people in need of help to save and protect their homes from flood damage, here is the City of Winnipeg Emergency website.  You could always call 311 and ask about volunteering to help the flood prevention efforts.  

Let's put the "Friendly" back in "Friendly Manitoba" 

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