The dyke in Brandon, Manitoba is re-enforced as the waters of the Assiniboine River rise Monday, May 9, 2011. Four hundred homes are under mandatory evacuation order.
Credits: MARCEL CRETAIN / QMI Agency
On one side stands the 12-foot wall of super sandbags, holding back what now looks like a lake on what used to be fields and roads.
On the other, a nearly abandoned Corral Centre. Most businesses have temporarily closed and sandbags have replaced the cars in the parking lots of what is typically a bustling shopping centre.
"It's an awful feeling to see all the water surrounding us from every direction," said resident Jennifer Seitz. . "It's unbelievable. There's a real sense of uneasiness amongst everybody that I talk to. It's the unknown, of what may happen over the next few days."
Crews continue to work around the clock to protect the western Manitoba city from the rising Assiniboine River.
The military has stepped in to help sandbag reinforcement efforts in some of the worst hit areas.
About 1,200 people remain evacuated from roughly 420 households south of the Assiniboine.
Laurie Clark and his family were evacuated from their home after water covered all roads in and out of the area.
"It's pretty stressful," he said. "(We're) sitting on ... pins and needles, don't know what the water table's going to do. Nobody seems to know."
As of Tuesday there were no further evacuation notices but officials say it's possible another 1,000 people on the north side of the Assiniboine might have to be evacuated.
"Right now we're comfortable with leaving people there, but with this river and this year, anything can change," said City of Brandon emergency co-ordinator Brian Kayes.
Kayes said good progress was made in sandbagging efforts south of the river Tuesday but the rainy weather posed some challenges.
"We are beginning to struggle with the wet conditions ... the footing is quite slippery, and with clay of course sticking quite heavily to the footwear," he said.
City officials were confident with the diking efforts and were encouraged to see water levels stabilize Tuesday.
"We're going to be getting into what we're calling the management phase. That's where we will continue to do the inspections of the dike on a regular basis," said Ted Snure, acting city manager.