‘We’re nearing the end’: Morris water levels starting to drop, but recovery from flood will take months

Flood waters are starting to drop in the Rural Municipality of Morris, and though it brings relief, the community says it will take months to recover from the flood.

Red River levels dropped in Morris by less than an inch on Friday to 780.56 feet. Its forecasted peak of 780.6 to 781.2 feet is expected between May 16 and 18.

“I think now we can finally say that we are nearing the end of the flood of 2022, but (still) a few days to go,” said Ralph Groening, reeve for the RM of Morris.

“The water is going down in our community, in the RM of Morris, and that’s good news.”

A flood warning remains in place as of Saturday for the Red River from Emerson to the Red River Floodway Inlet. However, the province said the Red River is beginning to decline from Emerson to Ste. Agathe and is near crest at St. Adolphe.

The province said in the Red River Valley from St. Adolphe downstream, levels are expected to peak at 2011 to 2009 spring flood levels.

In Morris, the river peaked at 781.66 feet in 2009 and at 779.12 feet in 2011.

Groening said 75 homes in the RM of Morris remain evacuated due to the flood waters cutting off road access.

As for Highway 75 – a major trucking route to the U.S. – Groening says the RM doesn’t have much information about when the road will be reopened. The dike remains fully closed, cutting off access to the highway.

“It will depend to some degree on the amount of damage that occurred over the past couple of days,” he said.

The province currently has a detour in place through Carman and south to Winkler.

Though levels may be starting to drop in Morris, water remains, covering roads and fields.

“This is going to be a long recovery process. We’re looking at middle to the end of June, I think before we can really begin to see some kind of level of normal,” Groening said. “We’ll be fortunate if we can and do our repairs before the winter of 2023. That’s our schedule right now. We’re really concerned it’s going to be a huge job to summer.”

-with files from CTV’s Jill Macyshon 

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