Assiniboine River crests in Brandon, dikes hold

Brandon's dikes withstood the Assiniboine River's crest in the city Sunday afternoon.

Assiniboine River crests Sunday afternoon, 2,500 Brandon residents on flood evacuation notice

Assiniboine expected to crest again this week 2:40

Brandon's dikes withstood the Assiniboine River's crest in the city Sunday afternoon. 

Provincial officials have not yet said how close the water came to the top of the city's dikes but did say a second crest is expected July 17 or 18 in the city. That crest is expected to come in at between 31,000 and 32,000 cubic feet per second.

The crest came mere hours after a massive storm ripped through southwest Manitoba Saturday, dumping rain and hail on the city that was already partially underwater due to heavy rains the week before.

Massive hail, torrential winds, heavy rain and funnel clouds all made appearances in different parts of southwest Manitoba, many regions in the area already pushed to their limits and on the brink of flooding.

Brandon resident and amateur storm chaser Mandi Grayston said there were times she had to pull her car to the side of the road because of how severe conditions were Saturday.

“The conditions were insane, wind like we've never seen before and rain like we've never seen before,” said Grayston.

Environment Canada reported a tornado threw a combine header nearly 70 metres in Hartney, Man.

Virden had baseball-sized hail while Pipestone received golf ball-sized hail. 

Flooding, power outages in Brandon

Environment Canada meteorologist Danielle Fingland said Brandon and Pilot Mound were hit hard, adding to Brandon flood fears.

“Eighty-kilometre-an-hour winds in Brandon, trees uprooted and they got 38 millimetres of rain in 15 minutes,” said Fingland.
Ominous clouds enveloped Brandon and parts of southwest Manitoba Saturday (Mandi Grayston)

A City of Brandon spokesperson said the south end was the area most affected by outages and hundreds of residents remain without power Sunday morning.

There were reports of 130 kilometre-an-hour winds in Pilot Mound, said Fingland.

Manitoba Hydro said they are investigating numerous power outages and felled hydro poles in the aftermath of last night's storm.

The exact number of fallen hydro poles isn’t yet known, but construction crews were out first thing Sunday morning assessing damages.

Brandon's emergency coordinator Bryan Kayes said the Assiniboine River has risen almost eight centimetres since 9 p.m. Saturday evening. He maintained that despite the increase the dike hasn't been seriously impacted.

“Any of the water that was observed in the streets last evening was rainwater and we would expect that to happen, because we've blocked the outflows to the river,” said Kayes.​

Police were on the scene diverting traffic late Sunday morning when a low-lying part of Brandon's First Street bridge flooded out.

River levels are around 60 centimetres below the top of the dike at this time, which is still lower than 2011 levels.

2,500 Brandonites on evacuation notice

Brandon's dikes held during the Assiniboine River's crest Sunday afternoon.

Rain from Saturday had softened dikes, and Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst had warned residents to make arrangements in the event of a flood. 

“The family members and friends, give them a call today just to touch base to say, 'Look, they're not planning anything and we haven't been evacuated but in a worst case scenario, can I borrow the couch.'” she said.

Sunday forecasts show sunny, windy conditions, but Fingland said Monday may see more rain.

“Behind this cold front, we've got more stable, dryer air coming in so today looks like a nice day, but it looks like a trough swings through on Monday that'll bring more showery and thunderstormy weather,” said Fingland.