Selkirk braces for possible flooding as ice jam raises river levels
Red River crest is expected in Winnipeg this week
Rising water levels on the Red River near Selkirk, Man., have crews speeding up flood preparations today.
An ice jam south of Selkirk and rising river levels have officials concerned about a dike that surrounds Selkirk Park.
Darrell Kupchik, the City of Selkirk's emergency measures co-ordinator, told CBC News the park has been closed and heavy machines have been brought out to raise the dike by another metre.
The dike is being raised as a precaution, as more water and ice from Winnipeg are expected to arrive at the park on Monday afternoon, Kupchik said.
Kupchik said crews have also added about a metre of clay to dikes in the park.
“This clay that we're adding should give us hopefully enough freeboard to save the park,” said Kupchik.
Over at the Marine Museum of Manitoba, staff are moving some of its contents to higher ground as a precautionary measure.
The Red River crested in Emerson over the weekend and flood forecasters say the crest is expected south of the floodway inlet Tuesday or Wednesday.
They said the flow at Emerson was around 37,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).
According to forecasters, the ice cover in Winnipeg is still strong both on the Red and on the Assiniboine Rivers, and that is causing water levels to be almost 60 centimetres higher than they would otherwise be.
The James Avenue level in Winnipeg Sunday morning was 16.8 ft., an increase of 1.6 ft. over the last 24 hours.
Ice has 'nowhere to go'
Earlier on Monday, the CBC's Meagan Fiddler said there's open water south of the Selkirk Bridge, and ice chunks on the river were moving fast.
But she said north of the bridge, it's a different story.
"North of me, where the Selkirk Park is, all that ice is jamming up and it's got nowhere to go," she said.
"That's because further north, I took a look around the Highway 4 bridge where the ice is still solid and the ice jams just really have nowhere to go. They're just not ready to move yet."
The province issued a high water advisory on Sunday for streams in eastern Manitoba, east of the Red River and south of the Winnipeg River.
Forecasters said the Red River is spilling naturally into the Red River Floodway, but the floodway is not in operation.