Village of Makwa in state of emergency

By Kathy Gallant
June 12, 2018 - 3:59pm Updated: June 12, 2018 - 5:18pm

Recent torrential downpours have forced the Village of Makwa into a state of emergency.

According to Claire Elliott, administrator for the village, overland flooding began on Saturday, June 9, and only worsened after excessive precipitation into the next day.

“Emergency response procedures to protect the public, responders and environment are underway,” Elliott said. “The Village of Makwa has been working with the provincial government to deal with the matter at hand.”

She said the cost of the damage is currently unknown, but most of the village’s 90 residents were affected by the flooding. Septic trucks have been brought into help those who had water and sewer backups into their houses.

“The village is exhausting its resources to assist residents as required,” Elliott said.

Village citizen Joyce Barthel, who has lived in the community for over 30 years, said she heard about the state of emergency late Sunday from village councillor Keith Nydegger. She and her husband aren’t displaced from their home, thanks to their generator.

“We kept most of the water out, otherwise we would have been flooded like our neighbours that weren’t home,” Barthel said. “We were watching something we’ve never seen happen. When the water in the spring comes down it’s bad, but it’s not like this.”

She said she believes most residents of the village who have been affected.

“Right on the highway, there was so many houses you could just look and see it was in their basement,” Barthel said.

She said most of the water receded from in and around the village since the weekend.

Aimee Loehndorf lives east of the village in the Rural Municipality of Loon Lake, and also volunteers on the Makwa recreation board.

Loehndorf said she currently can’t stay in her home since there is no hot water or furnace due to the backup issues. While she and her family are working on things as much they can, she said she feels for the seniors in the community who might have mobility issues.

“Because the power was still out, everyone’s septics weren’t pumping out so the sewers were backing up in Makwa, because the power was out for so long and also the water from the heavy rain just backed it all up into everyone’s basements…what I heard is that all but two basements were flooded,” Loehndorf said.

The rec board is hosting a barbecue for residents tonight, Loehndorf added, as there is no store in the community and the board thought it would be nice for everyone to come together.

Makwa is 42 kilometres south east of Meadow Lake.

 

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