A state of local emergency is being extended in Manitoba's southeast due to extensive flooding and "potentially hazardous conditions."
The Manitoba government says in a release that Manitoba Environment, Climate and Parks has declared a continuation of the state of local emergency in Whiteshell Provincial Park.
"Despite improving conditions on the Winnipeg River and many lakes and streams, unusually high water levels continue to cause potentially hazardous conditions in some areas of the park, posing a significant risk to public safety," the release says.
The state of local emergency will now be extended until July 18, after previously being slated to end on June 19. The government says that Manitoba Parks may cancel the order if conditions improve before then.
"As part of this renewed order, Manitoba Parks is continuing the evacuation order of Whiteshell Provincial Park’s Betula Lake area, including all cottage subdivisions, commercial area, group use, day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails and beaches. The timeline for reopening Provincial Road (PR) 307 in this area is uncertain and remains dependent on the level of flood waters."
The release says that the Winnipeg River continues to cause significant overland flooding. The Winnipeg River may take several weeks to fully recede to normal summer levels, depending on weather conditions. Manitoba Parks is working in conjunction with Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure on this first phase of a safe reopening plan as water levels recede and conditions become safer for travel.
Watercraft users are reminded restrictions remain in place on lakes in Whiteshell Provincial Park to limit erosion and property damage from boat wakes along flooded shorelines. Details on lake restrictions and boat launch closures is available at www.manitobaparks.com.
Campsite reservation holders and seasonal campers will be contacted and their fees refunded if their campsite is affected by a closure. Campers should not pre-emptively cancel reservations before being notified of a site closure, otherwise cancellation policies will apply.
Manitobans travelling to any provincial parks are reminded to carefully check and monitor conditions before visiting. Park visitors are reminded to obey road and trail closures and not attempt to drive through flooded areas or across damaged bridges. All park visitors should check www.manitoba511.ca for road closures and potential detours before travelling to any parks. Details of all closures are available at www.manitobaparks.com.