Culvert gives way, embankment crumbling as western Manitoba braces for flooding

WAYWAYSEECAPPO FIRST NATION, Man. – A culvert gave way overnight, causing minor flooding in Waywayseecappo First Nation in western Manitoba, and an embankment holding back a deluge is crumbling.

Security at an embankment holding back a lake of water above Waywayseecappo, near the Saskatchewan border, said they’re concerned about the crumbling embankment. The old railway bed blocked a small tributary of Birdtail Creek this spring when a culvert under it was blocked by ice.

The culvert opened up overnight, causing minor flooding in Waywayseecappo, home to just over 1,000 people, on Wednesday morning.

However, officials still fear the entire railway bed will collapse, causing a sudden rush of water that would reach Waywayseecappo in an hour to four hours and Birtle, farther downstream, nine to 12 hours after the breach.

RELATED: Crews work through night but flood threat remains in western Manitoba

Emergency officials have enforced evacuations in downstream areas, leaving more than 100 people out of their homes in Waywayseecappo and Birtle, farther downstream.

Highway 45, which runs from Russell, Man., to the Birdtail Creek valley, was closed Wednesday morning due to water on the road.

RELATED: Flooding closes highways across Manitoba

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Global News Winnipeg: Culvert gives way, embankment crumbling as western Manitoba braces for flooding

Culvert gives way, embankment crumbling as western Manitoba braces for flooding