WINNIPEG, October 13, 2019 – Today, Mayor Bowman declared a state of local emergency for the City of Winnipeg. Along with its existing powers, the City will be able to use the authority granted under the state of local emergency to gain access to private property in order to deal with public trees that have fallen onto private property, and private trees that have fallen onto public property. In addition, the state of local emergency will allow the City to acquire the additional resources required to deal with this unprecedented weather event. 

This event has already had a significant financial impact to the City of Winnipeg, and the costs are expected to grow as City staff continue to evaluate the damage to City infrastructure, including the tree canopy. The City has already engaged external contracts to help deal with the damage to City trees, focusing their efforts on public safety concerns including trees that are in contact with hydro lines, blocking roadways, and presenting other public safety risks.

“The City of Winnipeg Emergency Operations Centre remains active and the priority continues to be ensuring public safety, however efforts are shifting to recovery,” said Mayor Bowman. “Winnipeggers are resilient, and on this Thanksgiving weekend, I continue to ask you to be kind, exercise patience, and continue to check on your family, friends, and neighbours, to provide any assistance you can.”

The clearing of trees continues to be a significant part of City operations and the City has reached out across the country for assistance.  Even if additional assistance comes in, it will still be many months before public spaces are cleared of all damaged trees. 

At the October 15 Executive Policy Committee meeting, the Mayor will introduce a motion that calls on the City of Winnipeg to apply to the Province of Manitoba for disaster financial assistance (DFA).

Receiving DFA will help off-set City costs related to this public emergency, and more details will be made available if the DFA claim has been accepted.