Rising Red threatens to flood Winnipeg basements, city says

Winnipeg residents should be prepared for flooded basements, Winnipeg city officials said.

Levels on the Red River expected to rise around a foot by next Tuesday

Winnipeggers are advised to keep an eye on sump pits and backwater drainage systems over the next week due to rising Red River levels near James Avenue. (John Bronevitch/CBC)

Winnipeg residents should be prepared for flooded basements, city officials said.

Levels on the Red River are high and on the rise as a result of recent downpours.

The Red at James Avenue is currently sitting at 13.77 feet and expected to go up close to a foot as early as Tuesday next week.
Flooded basements are already a reality in Brandon as a result of the recent torrent of rain to fall over the southwest corner of the province. This home has experienced serious flooding from sewer back-up. (Ryan Hicks/CBC)

City officials said the potential for more rain this weekend means homeowners should be keeping an eye on sump pumps and backwater valves in their homes to make sure water is draining properly.

High river levels put pressure on the city’s sewage systems, because it makes them rely more on pump stations and less on the natural flow and pull of gravity.

Homeowners are advised to install and maintain backwater valves and sump pits in their basements, but the city also emphasized that it is illegal to drain sump pump waters into basement floor drains.

The city’s Basement Flood Protection Program is accessible to homeowners and will subsidize 60 per cent of costs incurred during the installation of sump pits and backwater valves.