‘We need help’: Peguis First Nation overwhelmed by rising flood water, 2nd state of emergency

Flash flooding and rising water has forced Peguis First Nation, in Manitoba’s Interlake region, to declare a state of emergency for a second time. Alex Karpa reports.

By Alex Karpa

Continuous major storms and rising water has forced Peguis First Nation in Manitoba’s Interlake area to declare a state of emergency due to flooding once again.

“It is at risk, and we need help for our community,” said Peguis First Nation Chief Glenn Hudson.

BACKGROUND: More than 1,000 people evacuated from Peguis First Nation due to flooding

It’s been a hard couple of months for residents of the First Nation community two hours north of Winnipeg. They have been dealing with constant flooding since May.

And the water is once again rising in the community.

“Our people are fatigued at this point,” said Hudson.

Flooding on Manitoba’s Peguis First Nation in June 2022. (Credit: Garry Spence/handover)

Chief Hudson says a heavy downpour Tuesday, followed by a flash flood overnight on Wednesday, led the community to declare a second state of emergency.

“We knew the rain on Tuesday was going to further increase the river levels in the community,” he said. “It has impacted another 37 homes this morning.”

Peguis residents evacuated in May

At the beginning of May, 1,400 Peguis residents were forced to evacuate due to major flooding from the nearby Fisher River. That number has risen to nearly 2,000.

Hudson says many of those residents started returning to their homes, but the recent storm has forced another set of evacuations.

“We actually had 26 homes that were cleaned up from the previous flood, and once again, we had 26 of those 37 are once again flooded out,” he said.

Residents are once again sandbagging on a daily basis.

‘We have to fend for ourselves’ 

Garry Spence’s home is in the flood zone. For the better half of the last two months, he has only been using his quad and bike to get around as roads have turned into streams.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Spence. “I mean considering the fact you don’t know if you have to leave your home. I was supposed to leave my home, but I never wanted to leave my home. I’m just praying that the water subsides and comes down, because it came up a lot from the rainfall we had.”

Spence says the community needs all the help it can get.

“I just want to see the government step up more,” he said. “They put us in a swamp and now we have to fend for ourselves. Lately, I haven’t seen anything from them and basically it’s just been up to the people.”


Hudson says with all the damage from the flooding, cleanup will take anywhere from one to three years to complete, as all the existing infrastructure will have to be rebuilt.

“We have to find long-term flood mitigation efforts and solutions to eliminate this flash flooding, especially during heavy rains,” said Hudson.

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