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.
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.
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.
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.