Overland Flood Watch Issued for Winnipeg, Eastern Manitoba
Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre is advising the public that recent warm temperatures have initiated spring thaw and surface run-off has begun in most southern and central Manitoba basins.
The centre is issuing an overland flood watch for eastern Manitoba including Winnipeg and areas east of Provincial Trunk Highway 75. The watch will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. tomorrow to 12 p.m. on April 15.
These areas could receive up to 20 millimetres of rain/snow tomorrow. The precipitation would fall on extremely saturated and partially frozen ground, which could create overland flooding in these areas.
As the melt continues, river flows and levels are expected to increase in the next few days and ice on Manitoba’s lakes, rivers and creeks will weaken. Ice conditions can change rapidly without warning and Manitobans are reminded to keep off ice as the temperature continues to rise.
The flood forecast continues to remain consistent with the spring outlook issued on March 22, which indicated a major flood risk for the Red River between Emerson and the Red River Floodway inlet.
The flood protection level of community dikes and individual flood protection works in the Red River basin are higher than predicted flood levels and are expected to protect communities and properties in the region.
As always, the risk of flooding could change in any of the basins depending on weather conditions in the next few weeks.
The Portage Reservoir is currently being filled to support operation of the Portage Diversion. Gate operations will be tested on Friday, and some water will enter the diversion at this time. When the reservoir flow exceeds 5,000 cubic feet per second, the diversion will begin operations to minimize and reduce the effects of ice jamming on the Assiniboine River east of Portage la Prairie and to control river levels in Winnipeg and areas along the Assiniboine River downstream of Portage la Prairie.
Operation of the Red River Floodway is also expected this spring to reduce water levels within Winnipeg.
The Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) continues to work with all local authorities and emergency management partners to provide guidance and support to prepare and respond to the spring flood. This includes reviewing existing emergency plans, information sharing and preparing resources used in flood response. Additionally, Manitoba EMO continues to work with Indigenous Services Canada to support its response measures with First Nation communities.
As the melt continues, updated flood information will be posted at https://www.manitoba.ca/flooding/.