Manitoba

Spring flood could be worse than 2009, province says

The province is preparing for a spring flood expected to be worse than 2009, after massive snow storms fell across the northern United States and the Red River Valley.
Amphibex ice-breakers worked to break up ice on the Red River to help prevent ice jams in the St. Andrews and St. Clements municipalities. (Trevor Lyons/CBC)

The province is preparing for a spring flood expected to be worse than 2009, after massive snow storms fell across the northern United States and the Red River Valley.

In a news release Monday, the province said while the Red River and its tributaries will see "substantial flooding," it will be limited along the Assiniboine River.

In 2009, ice jams drove the Red River over its banks and flooded properties in areas between Selkirk and Netley Creek.

In the best-case scenario, flooding will reach levels on par with 2011, but with average or normal weather conditions, the Red River could go beyond 2009 levels by almost one foot at Emerson and 1.5 feet at Ste. Agathe. In Winnipeg, unfavourable weather would mean the river could reach 22 feet at James Avenue, which is actually lower than the peak of 22.5 feet James in 2009.

Ring dikes and other flood protections are being constructed up to 1997 levels plus two feet, the province said.

On Feb. 25, Amphibex ice-breaking machines began working on a stretch of the Red River between Selkirk and Netley Creek.

A spokesperson for the provincial government told CBC News it wouldn't comment on the latest flood forecast, adding more will be said once the updated forecast comes "in the coming days."

Corrections

  • The province is forecasting a level of 22 feet James in Winnipeg, it said in a corrected news release. An earlier news release reported a level of 22.5 feet James.
    Mar 19, 2019 2:28 PM CT

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