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Campers Forced to Evacuate in Manitoba Park

June 4, 2007 by   - () Leave a Comment

Stranded campers and cottagers were evacuated Sunday (June 3) from a portion of Nopiming Provincial Park in eastern Manitoba that is now isolated after the only access road washed out, according to the Winnipeg Sun.
With some of their belongings in tow, a number of people gathered at Tulabi Falls campground and boarded boats – captained by Manitoba Conservation officers and park staff – that ferried them across Bird Lake to a road out.
“There’s absolutely no other way out of there,” said Ken Ulrich, Manitoba Conservation’s supervisor of the district.
Ulrich said about 100 people – representing 30 campers and up to 60 cottagers – had been stranded since early Saturday when part of Highway 315 collapsed and washed away in Booster Creek, which swelled following extreme rainfall last week.
Repairs cannot begin until Booster Creek recedes, the province stated in a news release. Signs are posted and barricades set up to warn people and keep vehicles away.
Ulrich said those who boarded the boats were forced to leave their vehicles behind and make their own arrangements to get home from the drop-off point at Bird Lake campground.
Karen Wiebe, who was stranded along with her husband Floyd, and guests from Victoria, B.C., including a wheelchair-bound man, said the experience was inconvenient but well-handled by conservation officers.
“They were fabulous. They did everything they could to get people and their dogs out,” Wiebe said.
She said some cottagers were impatient and frustrated because the highway has been in disrepair for awhile.
Among the stranded were several people who parked their vehicles at Tulabi Falls campground while they were canoeing in the area.
“A lot of them weren’t even aware the road is washed out,” Ulrich said.
“We’re talking about culverts that you can stand in and walk through that have basically disappeared, washed down the creek,” he said. Campers in the same area were stranded earlier last week when water crossed part of Highway 315, restricting access to cottages at Booster, Davidson and Flanders lakes. The road re-opened Friday but closed again a day later, giving people a short window to get to the campground or cottage development.

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