The prairies encompass everything I love. The quiet, distant sounds that calm; the open air that inspires; the smells that bring comfort, and the sunshine that warms me. My Prairie Story is about sharing all the good things that have been instilled in me growing up and living on the prairies - my new and old family recipes, nurturing my homegrown garden, making my house a home, getting away to our cabin at the lake, and just keeping up with life! ~ Alison Zulyniak
Manitobans have been weathering major floods since the early 1800s. In the past 60 years, the floods in 1950, 1997 and 2009 have caused substantial damage, especially along the Red River and Assiniboine River basins. And now this year, 2011, we are having the perfect storm that is resulting in massive flooding of the Assiniboine River. It will be one for the history books.
The Assiniboine River is a 1,070-kilometre (660 mi) river that runs through the prairies of Western Canada in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It is a tributary of the Red River. The Assiniboine is a typical meandering river with its main tributaries being the Qu'Appelle and Souris Rivers. We happen to live right on the Assiniboine River near Winnipeg. We know that our house is high, but flood forecasters advised that we still needed to protect our house with a sandbag dike. So we did.
It's very hard to describe the magnitude of the flood water, but with the unprecedented flows, we've been under a state of emergency, on evacuation notice, and nearly two weeks ago the Province called in the Canadian Armed Forces to assist. A decision was made to perform a controlled breach which is currently and purposely flooding farms, fields and rural communities to direct some of the water into the La Salle River.
It's been a stressful time for many Manitobans. However, I do know that there is no other place in the world where people help people like they do in Manitoba. It doesn't matter if you are family, friend, neighbor or stranger... someone will be there to help. The sense of community is what makes me most proud to be a Prairie girl.
We are expecting the river to crest where we are this weekend, and I think we'll be "lucky" and not see water come up and damage our house. My thoughts and prayers to all those who are suffering and sacrificing.