Most floods develop slowly. Provincial forecasters consider a number of factors which can lead to a flood and provide information to help communities prepare. Manitoba’s flood protection measures have also reduced the damage caused by flooding.
Precautions must still be taken if you live in a flood-prone area. Heavy rain storms can cause sudden flooding in lowland areas, homes and basements.
Avoid power lines and standing water. Energized downed lines could be submerged in the water.
Before a flood
- Make sure your sewer backwater valve and your sump pump work, to prevent a backup.
- Move electrical equipment, such as TVs, stereos, home theatre components and computers, from your basement to an upper floor of your home.
- If an area becomes inundated with water and properties flood, we will disconnect electrical service to the area.
- To determine if it’s necessary to shut off natural gas service to your home, contact us.
Towers and poles carrying electricity may suffer damage from flooding and can be dangerous. Do not approach.
During a flood
- Avoid standing water, as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- If you are travelling by boat or other watercraft, watch for submerged poles and low-hanging power lines. Normal clearances of overhead power lines can be significantly reduced by floodwater.
- Floodwater currents can quickly change as levels rise and fall, making it difficult to control your watercraft around poles and power lines.
- Nighttime travel by boat in flooded areas is dangerous. Power lines are almost impossible to see. Avoid travelling after dark unless it is an emergency.
- If you see a downed power line or smell gas, don’t touch anything. Gas leaks and live power lines can be deadly. Leave the area immediately. From a safe location, call us.
Normal clearances of overhead power lines can be significantly reduced by flood water or damage.
After a flood
- If your basement has flooded, do not enter it. Electricity can move through water or wet flooring and cause a severe electrical shock or kill you. Even a small amount of water on the floor can be dangerous.
- Even if your basement did not suffer water damage, the interior structure may be wet and conduct electricity.
- Do not attempt to turn off power yourself. Contact us to disconnect power at the pole to ensure it is safe.
- A qualified electrician must replace and test all wiring, outlets, baseboard heaters and other electrical hardware that had been in contact with flood water before power is restored.
- If your natural gas appliances were flooded, a licensed heating contractor must inspect them to determine if they need to be replaced.
Do not attempt to turn off power yourself if your basement floods. Call us to disconnect power at the pole so it is safe.
- Government of Canada’s Flood Ready: Don't wait for the water website.
- Province of Manitoba's Flood Information website.
- City of Winnipeg's Flood website.
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