Red River levels could rise, Selkirk residents warned
People living in Selkirk, Man., are being warned water and ice levels in the Red River could rise Wednesday despite dropping dramatically during the past two days.
The area north of Winnipeg has been under the threat of flash floods for several days because of a massive ice jam on the Red River.
Several kilometres of the river are jammed with frazil ice, a slushy formation caused when turbulent water is cooled below freezing temperature, but doesn't immediately form ice.
The water levels dropped about 60 centimetres on Monday and Tuesday, but officials say they could rise again on Wednesday after chunks of the ice jam broke through bridges at Ste. Agathe and St. Adolphe, near Winnipeg.
Darrell Kupchik, head of emergency measures for Selkirk, said it's too early to celebrate.
"The park is still under water, the Marine Museum [of Manitoba] is still under water, the golf course is still under water," said Kupchik.
The river has also flooded two riverfront highrises for seniors, while other homes along the river are protected by sandbag dikes.
"As far as the senior complexes, building management have begun pumping out the lower parkades and we're hoping they'll make good progress and get the residents back in their homes as soon as possible," said Kupchik.
A civil engineering professor at the University of Manitoba says it might take a week or more of warm weather to get the ice and water flowing into Lake Winnipeg.
"In this particular case, it jammed. Then the weather turned cold," he said.
"You had some open water to the south and being very cold, that generated frazil ice. That frazil ice then moved into the jam itself and it acts just like a glue cementing it all together."