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Manitoba prepares for spring ice jam flooding

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    Cheryl Santa Maria
    Digital Reporter

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 4:20 PM -

    Authorities in Manitoba are 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," reads a public alert statement.

    "Use caution on the ice. Stay away from ice cutting and ice breaking equipment."

    Residents are also being asked to promptly remove ice shacks.

    There are a few factors that contribute to the spring-time flooding that is commonly seen in the Prairies.

    RELATED: See the current weather conditions in Selkirk, Manitoba

    The amount of snow that falls during the winter, mixed with long periods of freezing temperatures, are two key factors -- but geography also plays a role.

    The Souris and Qu'appelle Rivers both meet up with the Assiniboine, which meets up with the Red River in a part of Winnipeg that's referred to as “The Forks.”

    When snow begins to melt, all of the water ends up in the same place. To make matters worse, the Red River flows northward.

    If the Dakotas get hammered with snow, southern Manitoba will eventually have to deal with the melt. 

    Also, waters that flow northward are often slowed by ice.

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