Between a Mass of Ice and a Rage of Water

By Sharon Hamilton

On March 24, Roxane Anderson, author of Moving the Flood, took her audience through an historical journey of Manitoba floods, particularly of the acreage of Lot 95, north of Selkirk, where she has lived for many years. It wasn’t flooded in the Great Flood of 1826; it wasn’t flooded in the Flood of the Century in 1997. But it was flooded, for the first time ever, in 2009. Why?

Roxane Anderson set out to answer that question, almost succumbing to her own flood of tears while recalling her flight from home with her husband and their dog in their jeep, its wheels barely high enough to avoid their being slapped by aggressive walls of waves and thrust into currents of furious water.

Could it be the fluctuating regulations of water controlled by Manitoba Hydro? Could it be the recently expanded Red River floodway? Could it be the manipulations of drainage to manage the water problems in other parts of Manitoba?

With sincerity and controlled passion, Roxane spoke of still frightening memories, still raw emotions, and the genuine intellectual curiosity that guided her years of meticulous research. She supported her reading and commentary with readings from Moving the Flood by Susan Rocan and Den Valdron.

Her questions as yet have no answer and she is pursuing further research in her latest book project, Never Flooded, which will probe the topic even more deeply in an attempt to respond to those who suggest, “You should never have built out there.”. In the meantime, her audience of over twenty friends, family, and followers cried, laughed, conversed, and enjoyed tasty and nutritious refreshments, with only a few mentions of the shadow that lurks over every one of us who live in the Red River Valley – will it flood again this year?

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild book launches are free and open to the public. You are invited to join us for our next launch at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 15, when Winnipeg author Den Valdron will launch his two-book series of “the elf chronicles.”

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