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Ups and Downs

Problems in Canada: Leaking dike poses new threat in Manitoba

Manitobans hoping for a break in the flooding disaster got more bad news on Wednesday, as officials said there’s a new crisis area in the flood zone, along the Portage Diversion where the west bank of the channel dike has been seeping and needs major repair.

That could have a ripple effect along the Assiniboine River, said Steve Ashton, the minister of emergency measures.

“The real issue here is whether we can repair it without drawing down the Portage Diversion,” Ashton said. “If we draw down the Portage Diversion, that will reduce the flows through.”

Soldiers are doing their best to plug the dike, said Steve Topping of Manitoba Water Stewardship.

“It is key on the progress that the military makes today on that,” he told CBC News. “We could not get equipment in there — heavy equipment — because of the seepage zone, so that’s going to be the issue.”

High, fast water for an extended period will exploit every weakness in the levees/dikes, and the system has never been tested to this extent before.

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May 18, 2011   Comments Off on Ups and Downs