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article imageSmall Manitoba community invaded by ice

By Ken Hanly     May 12, 2013 in Environment
Dauphin - A local state of emergency has been declared in the municipality containing the small lakeside community of Ochre Beach on Lake Dauphin. The village is just 20 miles east of Dauphin Manitoba.
On Friday evening (May10) strong winds drove built up ice onto the shore causing it to invade the small community of homes and cottages. In some cases the piles were more than nine metres high.
The Rural Municipality of Ochre River claims that at least six homes and cottages were destroyed but other reports put the figure higher.
Many other homes suffered damage with some knocked right off their foundations by the force of the ice. Clayton Watts, the deputy reeve of Ochre River municipality says that it was a miracle that no one was hurt. Watts told CBC that one minute people were in their homes watching hockey and then it sounded as if a freight train was coming through town: "It happened so quick. And you can't predict it — not like water that slowly comes up."
Watts said there are several cabins that were completely flattened by the wall of ice:"The ice is over top of them, they've been crushed, there's nothing left.There are other cabins that have been knocked right off their footings. There's ice right over top of some of the cabins, coming over the roof on the other side." The winds over the lake were about 80 km/hr (around 50 miles per hour) on Friday evening.
Unfortunately, insurance will not cover the ice damage usually. Dennis Stykalo says his cottage is full of ice and he cannot even get in to recover valuables.: "You know you've got cement, concrete blocks, and steel and the ice goes through it like its just a toothpick. It just shows the power. There is nothing you can do, you just get out of the way and just watch."
Many of the residents were just rebuilding after a devastating flood damaged many cottages and homes back in 2011. Many houses had to evacuated in Ochre Beach and nearby Dauphin Beach due to high lake water levels in the spring of 2011. Ochre Beach is about 300 kilometres northwest of the capital of Manitoba, Winnipeg.
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