It's a much different scenario this summer than what's played out in Southern Manitoba over the last few years. Regular, heavy rains have started to accumulate and are presenting a new set of challenges than those of the recent dry spells. 

"We don't really want any additional precipitation right now," said Don Wiebe, Reeve for the Municipality of Rhineland.

"There is quite a bit of water out there, particularly in the southwest corner," he explained. "There is a fair bit of flooding on some crops. Of course, the low-level crossings are under water and, in some cases, it's going over municipal roads. Crews are out there and when a yard is threatened, we try to make some compensation for that, try to remove that threat."

Road 9, half-a-mile east of PR 306Road 9, half-a-mile east of PR 306

Wiebe noted the municipal drains are full and flowing. As for provincial drains, he says the Municipality continues to remind the province that it is essential they be maintained, adding the Municipality will be using this season as an example of that. 

The high water table is also creating challenges on rural roads. 

"Some of the gravel roads have some really soft spots on them," said Wiebe. "We'll have to put extra effort into maintaining them." 

"Also, when we have heavy truck traffic - our municipal roads were not quite designed, when they were built many years ago, to do that. We pleased, at least on the prairie grain roads, that we'll be upgrading the surface this year to help with that."

Phase 1 involved building about a half-mile of concrete roads in both of the Municipality's industrial parks at a cost of about $2.3 million. Phase 2 saw drain tile installed along the entire priority grain road network and Phase 3, set for this year, will involve re-enforcing the base of these roads.

Meantime, Wiebe is pleased to report the sewer systems in Gretna and Plum Coulee have been keeping up with the high in-flows that have been created because of the rain. 

Bales sitting in overland water

Northwest of Altona. (Submitted by Jonathan Krause)Northwest of Altona. (Submitted by Jonathan Krause)
Northwest of Altona. (Submitted by Jonathan Krause)Northwest of Altona. (Submitted by Jonathan Krause)