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Province, Feds Must Step Up Now With Disaster Assistance for Westman

Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg - Manitoba Liberals are calling on the Provincial and Federal Governments to act as quickly as possible to provide emergency disaster assistance to communities in Western Manitoba that were hit hard by massive storms and flash flooding last week.

In a "1,000 year rainfall," 30 centimetres of rain fell in just two days, flooding homes and businesses, ruining dozens of roads and destroying bridges. Communities from the ground up are going to need major help rebuilding, says Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface.

Lamont toured Neepawa, Minnedosa and the RM of Minto-Odanah on Friday, July 3rd.

In Minnedosa, floodwaters filled basements, ruined houses, and businesses were damaged. Dozens of roads were washed away in the nearby RM of Minto-Odanah. In Neepawa, a bridge was knocked loose and the lake, which was constructed 120-years ago, drained when one of its banks failed.

"It's heartbreaking, because some folks have lost everything," said Lamont. "The floodwaters are receding, but the damage is done and the people in these communities need a commitment to help now." Lamont's letter called for provincial and federal governments to commit immediately to financial assistance for evacuees, individuals, businesses, and to help municipalities with the cost of replacing roads and bridges.

"We have a rainy day fund, and on top of COVID-19 shutdowns, these Westman communities have just experienced the rainiest day in a thousand years," said Lamont. "These are emergency shovel-ready projects and there is no excuse for denying or delaying assistance."


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