Flood Protection & Updates

Please stay away from rising waters at this time, as changes can happen quickly. Keep a close eye on children and pets.

This page has been created to give you the resources you need to prepare in case of emergency, keep you informed of the measures we are taking and notify you of any impacts to our community.

It is that time of the year when we catch a glimmer of ‘Spring’ and begin to enjoy some milder Manitoba weather. As we watched the snow melt around us it brought us assurance that spring was on the way. The snow and ice melt raised concerns with flooding as we experienced the first crest of the Red River which affected and our creeks, drains and tributaries. A second crest of the Red River occurred mid May for Winnipeg and surrounding areas. It is important that we all continue to keep a close eye on water levels and we continue to prepare, as we may not be in the clear just yet!

Having said that, as a Municipality we are working diligently to ensure we reduce any chance of flooding that comes our way, however that still leaves many things that residents can do to help alleviate issues. 

We want to let everyone know just how much we appreciate your patience and understanding throughout one of the most difficult winters and into the spring melt season. As we work through this season, we understand that another level of stress is added to prevent emergency situations from occurring but please know we are here to work with you and assist you as much as possible. Our departments continue to monitor weather conditions and river/water body levels and have all necessary emergency equipment ready to go in case of an event. We will continue to provide important updates as information becomes available.

Overland flooding occurs when water on the ground surface does not have sufficient time to flow into rivers and streams or be absorbed into the ground, potentially causing flooding of low-lying areas, roads and properties.

Current Impacts

Municipal Road and Provincial Highway ClosuresAlso listed below

  • Portion of Road 43 between Road 89 and Road 90
  • PR 202 at the Gunn’s Creek crossing
  • Stoney Point Road between PTH 319 and PTH 500

Sandbags

If you are in need of sandbags, please contact us at 204-482-3300 to arrange pickup. We currently have some premade sandbags as well as sand and bags once those run out. It would be helpful to bring someone to assist you with loading and a vehicle that can transport.

View more information on how to construct a sandbag dike here.

Please note: that the RM is not responsible for the following: individual property protection, delivery of sandbags, loading the sandbags and does not provide staff to install them. Please ask neighbours, friends and family to assist in your personal property protection.

Emergencies

Over the last several weeks the amount of precipitation has shown homeowners where the low lying or prone areas are on their properties. If your home is being threatened by water, assess the threat by checking how close the water is coming to your home and contact us if you would consider it an emergency.

Our contact number is 204-482-3300, and the same applies after hours and on weekends as we have a call centre that will gather as much information as they can from you (name, contact number, additional info). All calls are then forwarded to the corresponding departments. We then review and prioritize during these weather events so that we can do whatever we can in the case of an emergency.

A reminder that during significant weather events typically we receive a high volume of calls coming in. We apologize if we are not able to get back to you but can ensure you that we’ve seen your concern if submitted by phone or email.

Did you know? Provincial roads, highways and drains are under the jurisdiction of Manitoba Highways? If you are having issues with any of the above, please contact Manitoba Highways directly at 204-346-6266 to advise them of any issues.

Ditching & Drainage

Our Public Works Department began their regular ditching works the week of March 14. The warm weather that we experienced early on allowed us to begin opening up the ditches in our problem areas so that they can do their job to carry off the spring run-off.

We regularly monitor ditches in the spring, particularly the known problem areas but conditions can vary from year to year and blockages can pop up anywhere. Due to the large accumulation of snow this winter, we will see the ditches doing their job and redirecting water in much of the municipality as the snow melts. This is a good thing and seeing water in ditches is not necessarily a bad thing! Although it is our residents responsibility to protect their properties against flooding, it is our priority to assist in taking steps like ditching to protect our residents and their dwellings. If you have drainage problem concerns, we would appreciate hearing from you by email or by phone 204-482-3300.

When contacting us, please be prepared to provide as much detail as possible so that we can assess the situation and clear it strategically as necessary, such as:

  • Name, civic address and contact information (email, phone number)
  • Estimated distance of the water to the house 
  • If culverts seem to be frozen;
    • is there snow in the ditch or water by the culvert
    • if you can see a noticeable difference in the height of the water from one side of the culvert to the other 
  • If water seems to be backing up on your property and is threatening your home;
    • let us know roughly how far away the water is from the home

2022 Spring Flood Preparation 

Provincial Floodway

The floodway began operating as of 10:00 am on Friday, April 8, 2022.

The floodway gates were lowered to their resting position at 3:30 pm on Thursday, June 16, 2022. The gate setting is now 728.04 ft. This concludes episode two of the Spring 2022 floodway operation. River levels are expected to continue to fall in the near term.

Provincial spring flood outlook

The latest flood forecast information is released by the Province each day and can be viewed anytime on the Province’s Flood Outlook Information site.

Provincial Ice-Jam Mitigation Program

The Manitoba Government has completed their annual ice cutting on the Red River to help reduce the potential for ice jam-related flooding, part of their strategic flood control operations to help protect Manitobans. Starting at the Netley Marsh on the Red River, remote-controlled ice-cutting units and three Amphibex icebreakers make their way south to Selkirk (this strip of the Red River is approx. 28 km long).

The ice-jam mitigation program was launched in 2006 to reduce the risk of flooding caused by ice jams on the lower Red River and several other rivers. Ice jams form when floating ice is blocked from moving downstream, forcing water to backup and raise water levels on rivers.

Municipal preparation

Both overland flooding and river flooding can occur in our Municipality and it can happen quickly. Some creeks may look small during summer months but come spring, they act as major drains for the water coming through our municipality from surrounding municipalities as the water makes its way into Lake Winnipeg.

We are continuously working to gather data, fix trouble spots and proactively complete long term planning to do our part to help prevent future flooding. Below you’ll find key points on different areas that we are preparing in as we wait to see how mother nature will affect the melt this year.

  • Drainage – In 2018 we started major drainage improvements to ensure proper flow and to mitigate as much overland flooding as we can. We are working to upgrade drainage as we continue to complete major project areas, most recently up until and including 2021. We regularly monitor ditches in the spring, particularly the known problem areas but conditions can vary from year to year and blockages can pop up anywhere. As the snow melts, we appreciate hearing from residents about any problem areas so that we can assess the situation and clear it strategically
  • Dyke construction – The ‘Peltz’ dyke on St. Peters Road was completed in 2015 and was an extremely important and necessary build to mitigate major annual flooding in this previously problematic area
  • Flood preparation equipment – Over the last several years, our Council has made a commitment to upgrade our flooding equipment for the protection of our ratepayers
    • In 2020, we applied for a grant for Flood Preparedness Funding, which we were approved for and dedicated it towards emergency preparedness. Some equipment purchased included; a 4 inch trailer diesel pump, a new culvert steamer and GPS equipment for flood water readings
  • Communications – We are constantly evolving by using different methods of communication to reach our residents. Facebook, Twitter, our website and monthly newsletters are all sources that we communicate on regularly. Most importantly for emergencies and important updates we have a program called Connect – where you can sign up to receive these notifications directly to your phone via text or phone call or email.
    We recognize the need to be transparent with our residents. We are dedicated to getting all applicable information out to our ratepayers to keep you up to date – for example we will continue to update this page with helpful tips and information, as well as our FAQ page with answers to questions regarding overland flooding and seasonal flood prevention tips
  • Partnerships – We are constantly looking to build stronger relationships with our neighbouring municipalities and government bodies such as Manitoba Infrastructure to ensure provincial drains are flowing at thaw and that culverts on Provincial Highways are working efficiently to reduce overland flooding
  • Planning – We are committed to bettering our knowledge and understanding when it comes to an emergency. On March 15, 2022 Shelly Napier from Napier Emergency Consulting brought in her team to simulate an emergency exercise based on an actual potential hazard that we must navigate by responding and recovering. Our entire staff and Council participated in the training session, which also included our Public Works Department, Fire Departments and volunteers

Emergency Volunteer Opportunities

Although it may not look like it when you look out your window, it’s time to start thinking about spring! Considering the snowfall that we’ve received over the winter, it is a good time to start preparing for all possible situations that the spring melt can bring.

We are reaching out to gather interest from our community for emergency volunteers. Every person matters and we have high hopes that with the current Public Health Orders beginning to ease, we can once again begin to plan training programs with our volunteers and build a strong team.

We know that our community is filled with compassionate people that would love to lend a helping hand during an emergency. If this sounds like you and you’d like to learn more, please reach out to our Emergency Coordinator, Tyler Freeman by email at tyler@rmofstclements.com or by phone at 204-785-4157.

Flood Protection

In the last half-century, the two most severe emergencies in Manitoba were floods. The Red River floods in 1950 and 1997 resulted in extensive property damage, evacuations, and emergency operations to protect people and communities. Overland flooding is a regular annual occurrence in most of our province. The potential for flooding depends on rainfall, snowpack, soil moisture and temperature.

If you live in a flood-prone area, the best way to minimize damage is to mitigate the risk. Remembering that you have primary responsibility for emergency preparedness, consider what you can do to reduce damages and protect your home and property. You should also be making plans to evacuate your home and family if a severe flood develops. While municipal and provincial assistance will be available in such cases, planning ahead is valuable and necessary. We all need to do what we can to make sure our homes, families and communities are prepared in case of any future flooding

Test your knowledge about overland flooding and find out if you are ready with this quiz on the Government of Canada’s website.

Tips to help protect your family and property during a flood

  • Review your family emergency plan and make sure that you have an emergency evacuation kit ready 
  • Know the notification/warning systems the Municipality uses – we continue to post on: our website and this dedicated webpage, our social medias like Facebook and Twitter as well as our Connect Program which you can sign up for here
  • Follow instructions from local emergency officials
  • If you have a home that was affected by recent rainwater and/or received seepage or water in the basement, familiarize with the low lying areas of the property and try to address these issues
  • Take special precautions to safeguard electrical, natural gas or propane heating equipment. This may include turning off electricity to the affected areas of the structure or the entire structure depending on the degree of risk
  • Protect all openings, holding tanks, drinking water supply and septic fields that may be at risk
  • Move furniture, electrical appliances and other important belongings to floors above ground level. Quite often water gets into the basements or crawl spaces so ensure that there is nothing of value on the ground.
  • Remove toxic substances such as pesticides from the flood area to prevent pollution
  • Use sandbags or polyethylene barriers if necessary
  • Contact your insurer as soon as practical under the circumstances
  • Check to make sure your eavestroughs are not clogged with leaves or debris and that down spouts are placed appropriately
  • Make sure your basement windows are sealed
  • Learn more helpful tips and answers to your questions on our Flood FAQ page

Other helpful links and resources

A huge thank you to the volunteers that assisted our Public Works with preparing sandbags for our residents!