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Gretna in 1950 showing corner of Main and Hespeler at height of the 1950 flood. The whole town was inundated necessitating a hurried evacuation with tractors, rafts and jeeps.
The floods of 1941 and 1945 convinced area farmers that the existing drainage ditches were not sufficient to handle the run-off in the area and they petitioned the municipality and provincial government to construct double dykes north of Rosenfeld. Up until this point most farmers had been against the double dyke system because of the land it took out of cultivation. The double dykes consisted of 2 parallel dykes approximately 300 feet apart. Each set of dykes were about five feet high and were built from materials obtained by excavating ditches between the dykes. Ditches carried the water as far as possible, empty ing into the spillway between the double dykes by means of gates. 70
But if there was agreement on the concept of double dykes there was none on whose lands they would be built. Land acquisitions by the municipality for the Hespeler Double Dyke split up fields and caused hard feelings in the Plum Coulee and Rosenfeld areas and it was to the credit of the reeve of that time, Ed Pokrant, that the project was carried through. 71
The floods of 1948 and 1950 demonstrated, however, that even the large Hespeler Dyke was not enough in years when a late spring and quick thaw caused rapid run-off from the Pembina Hills. Flood waters in both these years spilt over the floodway washing out roads and