Manitoba

Flood Tally: 700 out, 6 homes flooded

Although widespread flooding across southern Manitoba has led to almost 700 people leaving their homes, officials say only six houses have actually been flooded.
Six homes have been flooded in Manitoba's 2011 flood to date. (CBC)

Although widespread flooding across southern Manitoba has led to almost 700 people leaving their homes, officials say only six houses have actually been flooded.

Most people have left only as a precaution and 576 of those were from the Peguis First Nation along the Fisher River near the shores of Lake Winnipeg.

Flood protection systems such as dikes and river diversions have done their job in most areas, although the water continues to disrupt normal life for some.

The latest impact is the closure Monday of the main road to the United States, Highway 75, at Morris. The closure is expected to cost Manitoba's trucking industry thousands of dollars daily as detours and load restrictions add to north-south transportation costs.

The latest flood warnings cover the Pembina River downstream from La Riviere, the Souris River from the Canada-U.S. border, as well as downstream, and the Qu'Appelle River in the St. Lazare area.

Flood forecasters had some reassuring news Monday, saying more big ice jams on the Assiniboine and Red Rivers are unlikely.

But Steve Topping, director of Manitoba Water Stewardship said there is still a lot of water to come. "The Qu'Appelle system and the Souris system are yet to crest," he said. "It's just how much water will flow east to the city of Winnipeg that we have to calculate ... and the timing of that."

Water levels in Winnipeg from the Red and Assiniboine Rivers are expected to crest between April 30 and May 4.

That would be slightly higher than the 2009 flood.

Water levels on the Assiniboine River reached record highs on Sunday when an ice jam at Poplar Point caused river levels to surge, surpassing the 1976 peak.