Flood preparations underway in southern Manitoba as rising rivers spark concern
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 3:30 PM -
The Red River crested at 2 a.m. Tuesday. Officials say that at present, operation of the Red River Floodway gates is unlikely.
High water advisories remain in place with localized flooding occurring in low-lying areas north of Winnipeg.
Meanwhile, the City of Selkirk has been taking measures to protect low-lying areas, including the Marine Museum where valuables were moved to higher ground on Monday.
Several roads have been closed in the area due to flooding and the quick rising waters prompted sandbagging efforts.
Water levels in the area peaked at 18.9 feet Easter Sunday due to an ice jam. By Monday morning, that had fallen to 17.35 ft but continued to rise through the day due to surging flows. As of Tuesday morning, the Red River level was at 19.15 ft.
IN MANITOBA: Weather Network reporter Deb Matejicka will be reporting from the area this week. Tune in for regular updates!
The move will limit the flows from Portage la Prairie downstream, according to the Canadian Press, in advance of expected crests on both the Assiniboine and the Red rivers.
By Monday afternoon, authorities reported that the Assiniboine River was clear of ice below Shellmonth Dam. Still, "the potential exists for ice jams to occur from Holland to the Portage Reservoir," the province warns.
"Ice jams can cause rapid rises in water levels with little or no warning."
Over the weekend, the Red River crested at Emerson -- with officials expecting it to crest south of the Floodway by Tuesday or Wednesday.
A high water advisory has been issued in the eastern part of the province for streams east of the Red River and south of the Winnipeg River, while an advisory remains in place along the Assiniboine River from the Holland area to Portage la Prairie.
Residents are being reminded to:
- Pay close attention to local waterways as flood conditions can develop quickly
- Avoid crossing areas with broken ice and surface water
- Avoid driving or walking through fast-moving water
- Check road conditions prior to travelling by calling 511
A system crossing the Rockies will bring messy weather starting Tuesday night in the western Prairies and lasting through the Friday.
It could bring up to 10 cm of snow in some parts of central Manitoba and Saskatchewan and up to 60 mm of rain to the hardest hit places.
The weather could push water levels even higher and warming temperatures could also result in more water from melting snow.