Date: Thu, 12 May 2011 23:19:22 -0500
Know everyone there is very tired and busy, and my thoughts and prayers go out to you. Thank you for your hard work to try and help us all in this terrible situation.
I am writing as a long-time resident of the Community of Delta Beach, a Board Member of the Delta Beach Association, and someone trying to act as a communications hub and relay information about the quickly deteriorating situation for the almost 200 homes at Delta – including many year-round homes. The Lake level has been rising rapidly, and combined with wind, the situation is worsening much faster than imagined. Information is scarce, and hopefully this email will help all parties assess some of the situation at the Community of Delta Beach.
On Wednesday night I spoke to Terry Simpson and we discussed the need for assistance to keep the Channel Bridge and Access to East Beach open as well as seeing if there was any dike system(Aqua or Tiger Dikes?) which could be deployed to save the almost 200 homes, which most are conveniently aligned in almost a “street” style 40-foot lot fashion – making mass protection much easier than many other areas – and at much less effort.
I spoke with Terry Simpson at 6:32pm this evening and he relayed on the news that he spoke with the EMO and was told “absolutely not” to the previous request for assistance, as efforts are focused south of the Hoop and Holler breach area. Terry has been amazing, and he then assisted in with getting a tandem trailer of sandbags sent out to Delta. Thank you Terry!
From my perspective, here is the current situation at the Community of Delta Beach:
– Lake levels much higher than currently reported – The combined effect of water and wind are causing a rise in waters much faster than expected, and I suspect higher than current Water Stewardship readings – the wind effect causes BOTH wave action, and a “tide effect” raising the water levels in the south basin. Additional flow from Diversion is, of course, making things escalate. Some residents believe the Lake level is rising more than 2 inches per day. Current levels are at the top of most of our flood control measures and endangering road access.
– No Skills or Training – None of us have any training in how to handle this, and there anyone here to monitor and coordinate efforts.
– Road Access at Risk – We appear to be losing the East Beach Channel Bridge and road to the East Beach to high water. If this goes under, we will lose the ability to defend the East Beach – 50 Homes affected. A number of recently built year-round dwellings surround the channel and are at risk.
– Elevations Unknown – Speaking to people currently sand-bagging, we don’t appear to have measurements or guidance as to how high homes are (feet above sea level) nor how high to build the Sand Bag Dikes – Without this information, residents really haven’t a clue. Water stewardship is projecting a 815.5 lake level, and shows Delta Beach at varying levels around 812-814 feet based on 50 year old surveys. Some people think they are at 807, some at 824, as you can appreciate the lack of information not helpful.
– Unknown Preperations for Likely Diversion Breach – It is unknown whether anything is being done to prepare for possible breach of East side of Diversion and/or spillway to Lake. If this breaches, wouldn’t a precautionary dike to the West of the Community of the Delta Beach save the over 125 homes there? No information seems to be known.
– Over $30 Million in property is at risk, the majority of which does not qualify for any insurance or disaster assistance. This is substantial, and will impact a number of people who are on fixed incomes, retired, and elderly. For many, no doubt the long-term impact is proportional to that of Citizens south of Portage.
Request for Assistance
I understand that at this time priorities are elsewhere, however with almost 200 homes, some level of assistance is needed to at least allow the homes owners who are able and willing(some have given up), to have a fighting chance until more resources are available. To this end, could you consider:
1. Providing information on what strategy, if any, is in play to try and save the approximate 200 homes in the Community, from both lake levels and possible diversion breach. This would provide needed peace of mind, or at the least some end to the worrying that retired residents must be feeling. If we are a lost cause, this would be helpful too.
2. Sand Bag delivery to the curb side of those homes where people are trying to save their homes – much like what is happening south of the City and in Brandon – this would help those residents who have decided to try and save their properties – and save them from losing valuable time making the 40 minute round trip to Portage. In addition, few people have trucks to haul and again this would help them(plus free up trucks for other areas of the RM). The few deliveries received tonight REALLY helped. Thank you! Any poly that can be sent would also help, as I understand we are short on that too.
3. Someone with an Surveyor Quality GPS unit that can give elevations and tell residents how high to build dikes. Without this information, dike building could be futile.
4. Some professional assistance to save the channel bridge and protect the roads from the channel waters so that we can keep the road to the East Beach open. In general, if road access is lost, we won’t be able to defend the Community. As of tonight, the water was almost lapping the East Beach channel bridge. I don’t know if it’s a MIT, RM or whose responsibility – but we need professional help to keep the roads and bridge open.
If the roads and bridges can be kept open, and some direction to residents on dike elevations, efforts can be made to try the Community viable until other valuable resources currently concentrated on other locations can be spared.
I suspect that time is currently on our side, and Delta Beach can still be saved. However, with almost 200 homes at risk, and little information to state otherwise, some proactive action is desperately needed.
Any help you can provide would be deeply appreciated. I am available at any time to assist in anyway and can be reached at this email, or by cell phone at xxx-xxxx.
Board Member, Delta Beach Association
and long-time(3rd generation) resident of the Community of Delta Beach