Manitoba

Unusual fall flood on Red River reaches its crest

The unprecedented fall flood on the Red River has reached its crest.

River peaks in Winnipeg only half a foot below the height of this spring's flood crest

The unusual fall flood on the Red River has reached its crest: 17.2 feet James. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

The unprecedented fall flood on the Red River has reached its crest.

The Red crested in Winnipeg on Wednesday at 17.2 feet above normal winter ice level at James Avenue, according to the city's website.

That level is just half a foot short of the crest of the spring flood this year.

The Red usually sits close to three feet James at this time of year and had never engorged itself to this degree during the fall before. The previous record for autumn was 13.4 feet James, in 2010.

High water this fall forced the province to operate the Red River Floodway during the fall for the first time since it was completed in 1968.

The City of Winnipeg delivered sandbags to one property as a precaution against flooding.

The province said in a statement Thursday the crest has passed. It has yet to offer a flood outlook for the spring of 2020.

Last week, provincial flood forecaster Fisaha Unduche said it's too soon to make a prediction for next year.

Flood forecasters take a number of factors into account, including soil moisture at freeze-up, the capacity of rivers to hold spring runoff, the height of the snowpack on the ground, the moisture content of the snow and, most importantly, the weather during the spring. 

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