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She went underneath the water, then surfaced and made a grab at the nearby sidewalk above water, but it broke off and was carried away. She made another grab and caught the screen door of her home. Her screams soon brought neighbors who helped her to safety.
It was Saturday, April 21st, 1923, the year of Portage la Prairie's big flood.
First word of the possibility of a flood was published on Wed nesday, April 18th, when it was noted that a four ft. rise had taken place in the Assiniboine River at the Rennie Brothers' farm west of the city. This water was already above ice level, and the ice was beginning to heave.
The next day, the water had risen another two feet. Farmers in the area were quoted as saying they couldn't remember when there had been so much water covering the land.
C.P.R. passenger service was crippled west of Portage and main line C.P.R. traffic was travelling over C.N.R. lines from Brandon to Carberry. The C.N.R. reported bad washouts between Portage and Gladstone. Country roads were in bad shape, covered by water from the melting snow.
Then, in the early hours of Saturday, April 21st, the riverbank at the Ogletree farm west of the city washed out and a large volume of water surged over the land, moving through a low cut at the cemetery and finding its way to the west end of the city.
When daylight came many city residents woke to find their homes surrounded by water, with the water still rising. Some waded out in waist-high water; others had to climb through windows.
The water backed up along the C.P.R. right-of-way and followed the grade into the heart of the city. By 6 a.m. the C.N.R. tracks were under water and the floodwater was flowing to all the side streets.
Crescent Lake overflowed and the water crept up on the houses along its banks. The bridge across to the Island had been uprooted from its pier and was sticking up in the air.
The steel bridge was intact but the south approach was washed away.
A common sight east of the city was to see a family seated in a farm wagon, with bed and bedding, and with a cow hitched on behind.