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Early winter snowfall could reduce Manitoba's flood risk

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 11:14 AM -

Manitoba's first flood outlook won't be released until Friday, but the province's new chief flood forecaster is hinting that the prospects this year aren't bad.

Fisaha Unduche says the expectation for this year is normal to below-normal for most parts of Manitoba.

"We do have a lot of snow, but this year because of the snowfall in early October, it acted as a shield," Unduche said Monday. "So we don't have a huge ice thickness and we don't expect major ice jams this year."


SEE ALSO: Preventing ice jam flooding.


Unduche was introduced to the media on Tuesday as the replacement for Philip Mutulu, who resigned last summer.

"Dr. Unduche is an experienced professional engineer who was selected based on his considerable experience with flooding in North America and Europe,” said Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton. "The new director brings a great depth of knowledge of the province’s major watersheds and will lead the flood-forecasting team using his experience from around the world and the foremost hydrological science and technology."

Last week, authorities in Manitoba were warning residents to keep clear of the ice as temperatures climbed past the freezing mark on Tuesday.

"In preparation for spring jam ice flooding, ice cutting machines are working on sections of the Red River between Selkirk and Netley Creek which will cause dangerous ice conditions," a public alert statement said. "Use caution on the ice. Stay away from ice cutting and ice breaking equipment."

With files from The Canadian Press

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