NEWS
05/13/2014 10:00 EDT | Updated 07/13/2014 05:59 EDT

Ice wall creeps toward cottages on shore of Lake Manitoba

A wall of ice is making people nervous is the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent where it is piling on shore and threatening cottages.

The ice on Lake Manitoba started breaking up on the weekend and moving towards the shore, driven by winds.

Tom Johnson, a councillor with the RM of St. Laurent, said people are worried because in some places the ice chunks are more than a meter thick and built up in a wall as high as six meters, particularly at Pioneer Beach.

“There's some pretty good piles and lots of ice along quite a few spots on the beaches,” he said.

Johnson said the ice wall has reached the shore and is only 15 meters from some cottages, but the movement seems to have slowed significantly.

“Some of it's close. It stopped right at the lakeshore, like it was right on the banks,” he said.

“Some of the people must have been getting a little nervous watching it come in."

However, strong northwest winds in the area on Tuesday are raising worries that more ice could pile up behind the wall and push everything inland.

"If there's mountains of it out in the middle somewhere that are going to blow this way it could be a problem," said Mona Sedleski, deputy reeve of the RM.

Water is also flowing into Lake Manitoba from the Portage Diversion and that could push the ice inland even further, she added.

One year ago, almost to the day, that a wall of ice crushed cottages and homes at Ochre Beach on Dauphin Lake.

Thirteen cottages were destroyed and 27 others were heavily damaged, but no one was hurt.