Flood worries easing in western Manitoba communities
Birdtail Creek from Highway 45 downstream still under flood warning
Concerns over flooding on Birdtail Creek in western Manitoba are easing, with the Rural Municipality of Rossburn allowing flood evacuees to come home.
While the RM of Rossburn has lifted its evacuation order, the Town of Birtle is removing its flood protection works on Thursday, according to the provincial government.
The removal of flood protection structures will allow Birtle's flood evacuees to return to their homes, the province said in its latest flood bulletin.
Earlier this week, crews were bracing for the potential collapse of an embankment that was h olding water back on a tributary near Birdtail Creek, which could have sent flood waters surging into communities downstream, including the Waywayseecappo First Nation and Birtle.
The embankment was growing weak from the pressure of holding back the creek, which had turned into a river because of an ice-plugged culvert preventing spring run-off from flowing away.
But on Wednesday, the ice shot out of the culvert and creek levels started receding at the embankment as water flowed downstream.
The water reached Birtle that day and caused a 25-centimetre rise in water levels at the bridge on Centre Street, but officials said there is still less than half a metre of clearance under the bridge.
Waywayseecappo First Nation officials have said they would start allowing residents who had to leave their homes to return on Thursday.
A flood warning remains in place along Birdtail Creek from Highway 45 downstream, as well as along the Assiniboine River from the Shellmouth Dam to Brandon.
Elsewhere, a flood watch remains in place for Brereton Lake in Whiteshell Provincial Park, and a high water advisory is in place along the Little Saskatchewan River.
On Thursday, the province said water levels along most of the Red River are declining, although levels on the U.S. side and near Emerson have started to rise due to recent precipitation.
However, as long as precipitation levels remain normal, the Red River is expected to stay within its banks in the province, according to forecasters.