Relentless rain soaks southern Manitoba

The sun is back in Winnipeg after a weekend deluge that swamped streets and basements in the city and many other places in southern Manitoba.
A weekend of rain left Winnipeg and much of southern Manitoba drenched. 0:36

The sun is back in Winnipeg after a weekend deluge that swamped streets in the city and many other places in southern Manitoba.

The soaker was brought on by two weather systems, according to Environment Canada.

The first, a slow-moving disturbance from Saskatchewan, spread rain on Friday and Saturday while the second, and more intense system, came from the U.S. and brought a persistent torrent throughout Sunday.

Rainfall totals in Manitoba
LocationAmount in millimetres
Winnipeg (The Forks)71.8
Great Falls60
Portage Southport48.3
Fisher Branch41.1
Swan River35.8
Wilson Creek33.9
Grand Rapids25
SOURCE: Environment Canada

The rain impacted several events happening in Winnipeg, twice forcing the cancellation of Winnipeg Goldeyes' games against the St. Paul Saints, outdoor concerts for the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, the Red River Exhibition's horse-jumping show, and horse racing at Assiniboia Downs.

Paul Nolin, the jazz festival's executive director, said he had to cancel an outdoor concert series at Old Market Square on Sunday because of the downpour.

Nolin said he had hoped the rain would ease as the day went on, but with no end in sight at 7 p.m., organizers had to pull the plug.

"It's futile, you know? There's no one on site and you're asking musicians to play for no one, and you've got 30, 40 volunteers on site and they're sitting out in the rain, and you just have to say, 'You know what? It's just not happening this time.'"

Farm land drenched

The rainy weekend is also causing problems for farmers in central and southeast Manitoba.

Doug Chorney of Keystone Agricultural Producers said most of the farmers he knows near East Selkirk have their crops in the ground, but the rain has now left a lot of standing water.

"We have over three inches of rain, as much as four inches in places. That's way more moisture than anyone needs to help the crops along, and it creates a lot of standing water, creates problems for crop spraying," he said.

Chorney said the province's southwest, where the land is already drenched, escaped most of the weekend downpour.

He estimated that between 600,000 and one million acres of agricultural land in southwestern Manitoba — about 243,000 to 405,000 hectares — could go unseeded this year.

"Obviously with our crop insurance deadlines imminently upon us, those acres will never get seeded with all this rain that we've got now," he said.

Monday is expected to be much better in Winnipeg, with clear skies and temperatures rising to 21 C — about seven degrees warmer than it was on Sunday.

And it will get even better after that. Environment Canada is calling for temperatures between 23 C and 27 C between Tuesday and Thursday, but the rain might return by Friday and Saturday.