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Red River flood keeps volunteers very busy

The number of evacuees continues to rise, despite an apparent drop in flood levels in Manitoba, sustaining the urgent need for volunteer relief.

The number of evacuees continues to rise, despite an apparent drop in flood levels in Manitoba, sustaining the urgent need for volunteer relief.

“Volunteers are working very hard,” said Edmonton Red Cross worker Marj Pettinger, who arrived in the flood-ravaged province two weeks ago. “What they’re seeing on TV is what it is like — overland flooding and sandbagging is the reality.”

The Red River has swollen to 19 kilometres wide in parts of Manitoba, despite a crest in Winnipeg.

“It’s such an unpredictable flooding situation that it has legs and we’ve stopped trying to predict it,” said Red Cross Manitoba spokeswoman Michelle French.

Family reunification lines have been ringing off the hook. The line was set up by the Red Cross, so those forced from their homes can reconnect with similarly displaced family members.

Yesterday afternoon, the number of registered evacuees was more than 1,100.

The threat of floodwaters saturating septic systems and amalgamating with pesticides and oil is compounding difficulties.

Officials predict it will be weeks before most residents will be allowed back in their homes.

 
 
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