In Manitoba the provincial government records river levels in feet above sea level. In Winnipeg, it's recorded according to its height at the James Avenue pumping station, in feet above normal winter ice levels. For example in 1997, the Red crested at 24.5' above winter ice levels.
Normal winter ice levels have been established as 727.57' above sea level. The James Ave. location was chosen because its downstream of the Assiniboine River flows, and a downtown pumping station is located on the riverbank there (the James Avenue High Pressure Pumping Station.)
Normal summer water level is 6.5' James.
The Portage Diversion (also known as the Assiniboine River Floodway) is a water control structure on the Assiniboine River in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. The project was made as part of a larger attempt to prevent flooding in the Red River Valley. The Portage Diversion diverts some of the flow of water in the Assiniboine River to a 29 km long diversion channel that empties into Lake Manitoba. This helps prevent flooding on the Assinboine down river from the diversion, including in Winnipeg, where the Assiniboine River meets the Red River.
The diversion cost $20.5 million dollars to construct. It was completed in 1970. The control dam is 35 feet (11 m) high and 1,400 feet (430 m) long. It has 2 gates that allow 18,000,000 m³ storage.
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