Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre has issued a flood warning for the Red River Valley from Emerson to the Red River Floodway inlet just south of the city of Winnipeg.
An overland flood warning continues for southern Manitoba from the Saskatchewan border eastward to Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 12 and from the United States border northwards to PTH 1, extending north of PTH 1 between PTH 5 and PTH 16, and north of PTH 1 between Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg. A high water advisory has also been issued for the Whiteshell lakes area, as levels on most lakes continue to rise due to the rain and snowmelt.
Southern Manitoba basins, including the United States’ portions of the Red, Souris, Pembina and Roseau river basins, have received an average of 60 millimetres (mm) of precipitation since April 22. Another 10 mm of precipitation is expected today, which could fall as snow in some areas.
Manitobans are reminded to stay off waterways including creeks, streams, rivers and the floodway. High flows, debris, and cold temperatures present a significant safety risk.
Some ditches and waterways are still ice-covered or contain snow-limiting water flows. As high amounts of rainfall occurring in a short period may cause overland flooding, citizens are advised of the potential for the sudden rise of water levels in these areas. Overland flooding occurs when water on the ground surface does not have sufficient time to flow into rivers and streams, potentially causing flooding of low-lying areas, roads and properties.
Water levels on most tributaries in the Red River basin and along the Red River main stem are rising quickly in response to the rainfall and will continue to rise over the coming days. Daily average temperatures are forecast to remain around zero over the next two days, which will temporarily slow down the melting of the remaining snow, but are expected to increase to above zero by mid-week.
Flood forecasters will continue to monitor precipitation amounts and assess impacts on flows and levels. The most recent river forecast information can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/mit/floodinfo/index.html.
The Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization continues to work with all local authorities and emergency management partners to provide guidance and support for both preparatory and response activities.
MTI continues to monitor highway conditions and heavy equipment may be deployed in the event of snow accumulation. Motorists are reminded to adjust driving habits for winter road conditions and remain alert when following or approaching oncoming highway snowplows. All equipment has flashing blue warning lights and drivers should stay well back of all equipment. Do not attempt to pass snowplows from behind when they are in operation and remember to slow down when passing approaching snowplows.
Heavy winds and snow accumulation could limit visibility and create challenging driving conditions. Manitobans in the affected areas are advised to travel only when necessary or wait until road conditions are safe to do so. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery.
Manitobans are reminded to stay off closed roads and not attempt to travel across inundated roads. For current highway conditions and road closures, call 511 or visit www.manitoba511.ca/en/.
For more information about flooding in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/flood.