Ice jams on the Icelandic River forced the village of Riverton, Man., to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday.

Some people were put on evacuation alert in the community, 115 kilometres north of Winnipeg, on the west side of Lake Winnipeg.

The ice jam butted up against bridges, backed up water and causing a sudden rise in the river.

But by noon, the levels had started to recede.

The high river levels had put added pressure on the village's land-drainage system, which was already inundated from overland flooding, said emergency co-ordinator Stefan Ostertag.

The two sources of water were backing up into the storm sewers, he said.

"There is so much groundwater — overland water — coming from the west," he said. "The Icelandic River's got a pretty big watershed and we're right in the middle of it, right at the bottom end of it, I should say.

"We've got heavy equipment trying to push ice past our government dock."

As well, the Amphibex icebreaking machine was sent onto the river to clear the jam, which it successfully did by late morning.

At one point the water was about 0.3 metres from the top of the dike on one side, said Ostertag.

But no major breaches of the dike or significant damage have been reported.

Remnants of ice are now flowing to Lake Winnipeg, he said.


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