U.S. storm could lead to flooding above 2011 levels in Manitoba: province
Manitoba flood forecasters are watching a U.S. storm system that's threatening to bring heavy rain to Fargo, N.D. and could lead to flooding at 2011 levels or higher, according to the province.
The Hydrologic Forecast Centre of Manitoba Infrastructure is monitoring the system in the central-northern U.S., the province wrote in its latest flood update Thursday.
Depending on how much rain falls in North Dakota, forecasters say flood waters could reach 2011 levels or slightly higher, the release says.
That's still a more positive outlook than earlier this spring, when flood forecasters said the province could expect 2009 levels of flooding.
Daily average temperatures hovering near 0 C in the Red River Valley this year have pushed the forecast date of the peaks further into the future.
The peak date at Emerson is now expected between April 21 and April 24, the release says.
The province also pushed back its estimate for when the Red River Floodway is expected to begin operations. The latest update says that's expected to happen early next week, but could be delayed until ice is flowing freely at the floodway control structure.
Provincial officials said Monday the floodway was expected to begin operations sometime this week.
Partial ring dike closures already underway
The peak on the floodway is expected to be between 25,000 and 32,000 cubic feet per second, depending on the precipitation amounts in the storm system, the province wrote.
Provincial crews have been sent to multiple communities in the Red River Valley preparing for potential ring dike closures.
Partial closures are already underway at Emerson and St. Jean Baptiste, and are expected at Morris, Letellier, Ste. Agathe and St. Adophe.
Emerson and St. Jean Baptiste will stay accessible by road, the province added.
On Thursday, the Selkirk Bridge over the Red River between Selkirk and East Selkirk was closed after floodwaters reached Highway 204. That road was also closed between the bridge and nearby Provincial Road 212.
The province says traffic may be reduced to two lanes for a segment of Provincial Trunk Highway 75, and Provincial Trunk Highway 75 is expected to be closed to traffic north of Morris in the latter part of next week.