Heavy rains on Monday caused a lot of damage in Boissevain and council decided to declare a state of emergency giving the community access to additional financial resources.

Rain and strong winds have been a problem for farmers, home owners, businesses and cottage owners in many parts of Western Manitoba.

The rain on Monday forced the closure of the Wildlife Museum in Boissevain and local officials say it could be the end of July before the museum reopens.

“Overland flooding was the problem” said Head of Council Judy Swanson.

“The water came down so quickly, it’s low there and water got into the building. Staff showed up for work Monday and there was a considerable amount of water in the building. Cancade has assessed the damage and they believe than can at least get the water up and make it safe to be in there. They’ll do some disinfecting and taking out some dry wall that’s wet so we don’t have mold issues.”

A lot of the damage was in the bear den area and where the train display is located. “The main area where you come in had a bit of water but not too much, Moncur Gallery had a bit but there was nothing in the wildlife museum itself.”

“Most of the damage was to flooring and some walls. We still have to fully assess everything. Some of the wooden bears we’ll have to see how they make out with the wet but right now we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again” said Judy Swanson.

Council held a special meeting after Monday’s flooding and that’s when the municipality declared a state of emergency. “By doing that we allow the community to apply for funding through the disaster assistance program. We had issues at our lagoon, businesses with water in them and we’ve had pump and drainage issues.”

Council has decided to purchase more pumps to keep the lagoon running properly.

“We thought we’d have a new lagoon by now but it is what it is and the same with drainage issues it seems the rains are getting heavier at any given time and with the weather changing we have to look at how is the drainage in the community and what can we do to make things better. We have councilors and staff looking into different parts of the community that are in need of drainage changes and we’ll see what we can come up with” said Judy Swanson.

Swanson hopes the museum can open as soon as possible. She adds it’s a bit frustrating having to close the doors after being closed for the past two years due to the pandemic.

“It’s important to make sure things are safe and that’s why we had the professionals come in and do the cleaning and make sure that we have it all done so we don’t run into issues down the road.”