Flooding in our area is not a common occurrence. When it happens it is usually the result of spring run off or heavy rains, particularly when the ground is still frozen or already saturated from previous storms.
What To Do When It Is Flooding
If there is a possibility of flooding:
• Stay tuned to your local radio for information updates.
• Store fresh drinking water. Regular drinking supply may become contaminated.
• Make sure sump pump works. Take precautions to prevent sewer backup.
• If basement floor is dry, turn off the main power switch. Stay clear of anything that could conduct an electrical current such as metal pipes, metal ladders or even damp wood. If your basement floods, DO NOT attempt to turn off the main power switch. Notify Manitoba Hydro to disconnect your power.
• Remove toxic substances from the basement and other flood prone areas including outbuildings to prevent harming the environment. Paint, cleaners, lube oil, water treatment chemicals, solvents, fuels, pesticides, agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, etc. should be moved above flood level so they cannot be washed away. Remember that many household products are a hazard to the public and the environment if they are released into the environment.
• Take precautions to safeguard or minimize damage to electrical or propane heating equipment.
• Furnace fan motors, oil burn motors and pressure systems usually can be removed for dry storage.
• Move large electrical appliances out of the basement. On main floor levels, raise all equipment off the floor by using tables, sawhorses, etc.
• Move personal belongings to upper floors.
• Consult local municipal authorities before building dikes.
• Stay away from emergency dike construction and fast moving water.
• Contact your Agricultural Representative regarding the relocation of farm produce, livestock, poultry, etc.
During a flood
• Turn off basement furnaces and outside gas valves.
• Turn off electrical power if it has not already been done. If the area surrounding the switch is wet, stand on a dry surface and reach with a dry wooden stick. If it is unsafe to do this, call Manitoba Hydro to disconnect your power.
• Add 2 1/2 litres of disinfectant (e.g. chlorine bleach) to basement flood waters every two or three days.
• Listen on a battery powered radio for flood instructions.
• Be aware that your normal water supply may be contaminated. The Medical Officer of Health will provide information on this issue. Sometimes boiling, using purification tablets or chlorine bleach will not kill all contaminants.
• Never attempt to cross fast flowing flood water on foot. The strong current may sweep you downstream.
• Be aware of where power lines are located in your area and maintain a minimum of 10 m (30 ft) of clearance. Night-time travel can be especially treacherous as light grey and black wires will be almost impossible to spot. Clear your route in and out during the day and do not deviate from it if you must travel at night.
• If evacuation becomes necessary, follow instruction of local officials and the evacuation instructions in this guide.
After a Flood
• If you had to leave your home, Do Not return to it until you have been told that it is safe to do so.
• DO NOT enter flooded basements or buildings which may contain energized electrical wiring or appliances.
• The main electrical panel must be cleaned, dried and tested to ensure the integrity of the insulation.
• Circuit breakers that have been submerged must be removed and destroyed as they may not operate safely.
• DO NOT use any appliance, heating, pressure or sewage system until electrical components have been thoroughly cleaned, dried and inspected by a qualified electrician.
• Before turning on power, have a qualified electrician inspect all wiring. Even if your basement did not have water in it, the interior structure may be soaked and still be a conductor of electricity.