Residents of Delta Beach are bracing themselves for an influx of everything imaginable that annually floats down the diversion into Lake Manitoba in the spring. With the recent overload of precipitation filling the Assiniboine River, the diversion has been opened and then closed, but is now open again. Water is moving heavily into the lake to curb any potential flooding.
Terry Skinner lives in the community and shares what's on everyone's mind.
"It is always an issue," says Skinner. "The lake is low right now, so it could take some water. We are always concerned about the debris that comes out of the channel there, and will it be cleaned up? That's our main concern. We realize that it has to be used for the benefit of all."
He explains he's not aware of how much water is currently west of Manitoba that will make its way here eventually but thinks it is a fair amount that will make it down the diversion. Skinner says there's still plenty of snow in huge mounds and drifts, and that alone will bring a lot of water.
Skinner describes what they usually see every year.
"All of above," notes Skinner. "It's just everything you could think of floats downstream and out it comes onto our beaches. That's just the way it is, you know. It's not that good. It's very visual and it's a bit dangerous, too, for anyone boating, swimming, or whatever. There are a lot of dead heads and unseen things under the water that you could step on or run into, so it is a concern."
He acknowledges that things were cleaned up the last time that a large amount of debris was present.
"There has been a lot done, that's for sure," continues Skinner. "But we just would like to see it ongoing, you know, not a one-year situation. If it comes down the diversion, make sure you clean it up when it's all said and done."
Apart from that, Skinner adds that he's just glad summer is here.
Paulette Connery lives along the shore, too, and says they're concerned about logs making an incredible mess along the beach.
"For a lot of people, they're not able to move that around," says Connery. "The one year, we probably had four feet of logs and debris all the way down, plus all the silt which brings unnatural stuff into the lake. And you can see it right out, and it piles up until you can't even get access, sometimes, when they've had it (the diversion) running before. Everybody is bracing themselves. Plus, you're concerned about someone breaking their leg if they walk in there. Something can be floating in there and sinking."