Manitoba

Snow-battered Manitoba issues high-water, flooding advisory as cleanup continues

Some areas of Manitoba are watching rivers and lakes closely as the province warns rain could bring high water — or even flooding — after a devastating snowstorm more than a week ago.

More rain on Monday could possibly prompt overland flooding

The province raised the gates of the Red River Floodway in south Winnipeg to control river levels, which are already high, in the fall for the first time ever. (Dana Hatherly/CBC)

Some areas of Manitoba are watching rivers and lakes closely as the province warns rain could bring high water — or even flooding — after a devastating snowstorm more than a week ago.

Rain forecast for southeastern Manitoba on Monday meant a possibility of overland flooding in some areas.

Manitoba Infrastructure issued a flood warning on Sunday for lakes within Whiteshell Provincial Park, and for rivers and creeks in the province's south and southeast.

But the province also said that water levels in the Whiteshell had stabilized at or near record highs, and were expected to decline as long as there wasn't too much rain.

A high-water advisory was also issued for parts of the Red River, including the portion that runs through Winnipeg.

On Monday afternoon, the Red in Winnipeg fluctuated between 16.5 and 16.7 feet above normal winter ice level at James Avenue, a level above a crest predicted last week by the province.

As a result, the City of Winnipeg has delivered sandbags to one low-lying property as a precautionary measure, Winnipeg communications manager David Driedger said in a statement. That property will need the sandbags if the river rises above 17 feet James, he said.

The province is now projecting the Red to crest within the range of 17 and 17.4 feet James between Oct. 23 and 26. 

The snowstorm that began Oct. 10 blanketed parts of the province in thick, heavy snow. That had largely melted in south-central and western Manitoba and runoff in most areas was slowing.

Manitoba Hydro said Sunday that about 2,000 customers were still without power. About 53,000 customers didn't have electricity on the Thanksgiving weekend.

The utility said the storm crumpled more than 100 transmission structures, broke thousands of wooden utility poles and downed almost 800 kilometres of power lines.

With files from Bartley Kives

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