Flood risk receding across much of Manitoba

The threat of major flooding appears to be all but over in many parts of Manitoba, according to the provincial government.

Red River already at or near crest through much of province

River levels were high in Winnipeg this past weekend, but not high enough to cause major flooding. (CBC)

The threat of major flooding appears to be all but over in many parts of Manitoba, according to the provincial government.

Below-seasonal temperatures in recent weeks have made a huge difference by slowing down the spring melt, officials said Monday.

"Bottom line is that we've had a perfect combination of weather over the last number of months," Steve Ashton, the minister responsible for emergency measures, told reporters.

"You know [how] they talk about the perfect storm? Flood-wise, we've had the perfect spring."

The Red River, which was previously predicted to cause major flooding this year, is already at or near the crest through most of the province.

The Red is expected to have a second but lower peak in the next week, according to flood officials.

The river has already been receding in North Dakota, where it crested last week.

'Flood that never came'

Officials said given the latest forecasts, it is unlikely that Highway 75 between Winnipeg and Emerson will have to close this spring.

In Emerson, located near the Canada-U.S. border, officials are calling this year one of the most bizarre flood seasons they have seen.

The Red River is expected to crest in the area on Monday or Tuesday, but Mayor Wayne Arseny says it will likely be a non-event.

There is little overland flooding, and there's plenty of room on the dikes to hold back whatever flooding does occur, he said.

Arseny said it's a nice change from earlier in the spring, when forecasters gave dire predictions of major flooding.

"I wouldn't want to call it a mistake. I would say that the data coming in was very unpredictable. From the snow sitting on the fields with measure and depth and water content, it showed a major flood," he said.

"I guess we can probably learn from this year's data on the type of thaw we had and put that into our record book as a year of our most unusual flood that never came."

Most of the melting snow has been absorbed into the ground, Arseny said.

Flood warning still in effect

Water levels have already been falling in a number of rivers and tributaries across the province, including the Whitemud River and some tributaries in the lower Assiniboine basin.

However, officials were reluctant to say this year's flood season is officially over.

A flood warning remains in effect for the Assiniboine River between St. Lazare and Brandon, while a flood watch remains between Millwood and St. Lazare.

A City of Brandon spokesperson told CBC News that water levels on the Assiniboine were 0.5 metres below the flood stage on Monday morning, which is good news for the area.

The province said while the flood fight isn't quite over yet, it does look like Manitoba will likely escape serious flooding this year.