Saturday, April 27, 2013

Thinking of the Saskatchewan and Manitoba 2013 Floods that are coming

Misty Hollow Carving and Misty Hollow Digital Images
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Misty Hollow Carvingwas launched in October 2008
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(Road washout in 2011 flooding - near Brandon, Manitoba)
Thinking of the Saskatchewan and Manitoba 2013 Floods that are coming

Thinking back to the last few weeks and our trip across Saskatchewan and Alberta there is much that stands out, many memories to sort through.

The first thing that hit us was the mountains of snow that were standing on more than half of the province.  Soon that snow will melt into torrents of water pouring into small streams and run offs. It will pour in to larger rivers and eventually a majority will go into the Assiniboine River.

The Assiniboine River then leaves Saskatchewan where it pours into the State of North Dakota and specifically Minot, a vibrant shopping city for Canadians.

Then the usually lazy river heads north again into Manitoba where it will grow even bigger, swelling over its banks in many places flooding the farm land around it in the valley areas.

The now raging and fast moving Assiniboine will meet the very fast moving Red River coming up from the south of the American border.  And that all happens right downtown, in the City Centre of Winnipeg.  Two rivers meet and bring a whole bunch of water from everywhere to the heart of the city.

When the different tribes of Aboriginal folk gathered at the forks of the two rivers for their meetings long ago, then went home again… they never dreamed that the white man would squat on that property and then build a very large and expensive city on that very spot.

Owning property near the banks of the Assiniboine or Red Rivers is perhaps cool and even elite during other times of the year… but not so much when the flood comes.

I used to fish with my cousin on the banks of the Assiniboine River near Oak Lake, Manitoba.  In the summer the Northern Pike will bite just about anything that moves in the river.  I caught one big fish by swinging an old red and white spoon (a fishing lure) on a piece of white string. Nothing fancy about the fishing tools but it worked. The river is full of great fish.

But now few people are thinking of what will happen with the fishing this year.  They are only thinking of what will happen to their land and their homes.  And I am afraid that many will be too close to disaster for any comfort coming their way – too soon.

Driving through the prairie again reminded me of the potential danger that is there all around and what people have had to do to stay alive and make it a place for their homes.

The people of the prairie are amazing.

While we face our own flooding problems in some parts of Ontario this year, I am thinking of my friends in Saskatchewan. Many thoughts and things to ponder.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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Assiniboine River near Brandon - 2011

Trans Canada Highway near Grenfell, Sask. - completely covered with flooding - 2011
YES - we did drive through the flood!

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