Flood bulletin #18: April 28

Province of Manitoba media bulletin


Birdtail Creek

  • The former railway embankment with a frozen box culvert at its base holding back a significant amount of water near PTH 45 continues to fail. A second embankment slide has developed at the site.
  • Water still appears to be seeping through the embankment as the downstream creek has come up by about eight inches.
  • The embankment could fully fail at any time. Flows will depend on the size and nature of the breach.  Local and provincial officials continue to monitor the situation.
  • The Waywayseecappo First Nation has evacuated approximately 12 homes and a seniors’ complex (10 suites) due to the flood threat on Birdtail Creek. Approximately 64 people have been evacuated.
  • In Birtle, 18 homes with 39 evacuees have been evacuated, and an additional two homes with four evacuees have been evacuated in the rural municipality.
  • The Town of Birtle has protected homes and critical infrastructure with earthen dikes and flood tubes provided by the province. This has been done to protect the community from the high water levels anticipated when the embankment fails.
  • The Manitoba government has provided equipment and support communities in the region and will direct additional resources such as sandbags or other equipment as needed to help the community prepare for potential flooding when the embankment completely fails.

Peguis First Nation

  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) advises flooding has led to the evacuation of 131 people from the Peguis First Nation.
  • The Fisher River in Peguis experienced over-bank levels this weekend. In anticipation of those conditions, the province had provided 100 Tiger Tube dams to the First Nation last week and staged an additional 100 in Hodgson.
  • AANDC advises the First Nation protected approximately 25 homes with sandbags and Tiger Tube dams.
  • AANDC is working with the community and emergency management partners to ensure local emergency response efforts are supported. Evacuations are being co-ordinated by the community with support from the Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters.
  • Water levels have crested in the community and are receding. AANDC has not yet completed an impact assessment of damages.

Fisher River Cree Nation

  • AANDC advises nine homes have been protected. No other homes require flood protection at this time.
  • The province delivered 80 Tiger Tube dams to the community.
  • As of earlier today, observed river levels have dropped by approximately one foot.

Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve

  • AANDC advises the Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve is experiencing localized flooding from the Duck Mountains due to heavy rainfall in the area.
  • The flooding has washed out six access roads. While no homes are at risk, officials continue to monitor and assess the situation.

Warnings and Advisories

Flood warnings are in place for:

  • all points along the Birdtail Creek downstream of PTH 45, due to a failing embankment that will lead to a surge of water on the creek;
  • the Assiniboine River from the Shellmouth Dam to Brandon, due to high flows;
  • all points along the Little Saskatchewan River, due to high flows; and
  • all points along the Fisher River, due to high flows and possible ice effects.

High water advisories continue for:

  • all points on Smith Creek, due to high flows; and
  • streams in the Interlake region, including the Icelandic River, due to rapid melt and high flows.

Emergency Response

  • States of local emergency have been declared in the rural municipalities of Westbourne, Hillsburg, Birtle and Rossburn, and the towns of Roblin and Birtle.
  • The province has deployed flood-fighting and mitigation equipment strategically across the province. Regional staff are supervising and monitoring water levels in affected areas.

Red River

  • Water levels and flows on the Red River and on most tributaries in Manitoba are declining.
  • The U.S. portion of the Red River is rising due to recent precipitation.
  • In the U.S., a flood warning was issued for the Red River at Fargo effective today. However, flows are expected to be well within the banks by the time it reaches Manitoba.

Roseau River

  • The Roseau River is slowly rising at most locations.  The river is free of ice and water levels are expected to stay well within bank.

Assiniboine River

  • The water level on the Shellmouth Reservoir has increased to 1,404.1 feet; the summer target level is 1402.5 ft. and the spillway is at 1408.5 ft.
  • Inflows to the reservoir are approximately 10,580 cubic feet per second (cfs) (300 cubic metres per second or cms) and outflows are at 1,730 cfs (49 cms).  Inflow to the reservoir appears to have crested and is beginning to decline.
  • Provincial officials and the Shellmouth Operation Liaison Committee have approved increasing outflows from the Shellmouth Reservoir to hit a target outflow of 5,000 cfs by tomorrow evening.
  • This operation is in keeping with the guidelines, which are specific for each season, and in the spring call for outflows to be increased to keep reservoir levels below the spillway, if possible.
  • The lower Assiniboine River is reported to be free of ice and, as a result, the Portage Diversion will be operated to allow more flow down the lower Assiniboine River.
  • As of this morning, flow on the Portage Diversion is 7,790 cfs (221 cms) and flow on the Assiniboine River downstream of the diversion is 6,450 cfs (183 cms).
  • Flows on the Assiniboine River downstream of the diversion will be increased to approximately 8,000 cfs today.

Souris River

  • Saskatchewan and North Dakota are co-ordinating releases from dams upstream on the Souris River.
  • A flood warning has been issued for the Souris River in the U.S. part of the watershed.
  • Water levels in Manitoba are expected to increase but remain within bank.

Whitemud River

  • Flows and water levels on the Whitemud River are stable or dropping; all locations are within bank.

Parkland Region

  • In general, streams in the Dauphin area are stable or dropping while streams further north are increasing; all streams remain within bank.
  • Water levels on Dauphin Lake are above the desired level and rising due to high inflows.  The ice remains solid at this time and conditions are being monitored.

The Pas and Northern Manitoba

  • The Saskatchewan, Carrot and Red Deer rivers are continuing to rise.  It is reported that ice is beginning to lift and move on the Saskatchewan River.  Conditions are being monitored.

Spring Safety

People are reminded:

  • to be watchful of local waterways as flood conditions can develop quickly and ice conditions may be unsafe,
  • to avoid crossing areas with broken ice and surface water,
  • not to drive or walk through fast-moving water, and
  • to call 511 to check road conditions before travelling.

Questions or concerns about flooding or water management should be directed first to the municipal authority.  Anyone with questions about water levels, provincial waterways or provincial water control infrastructure can call 204-945-8373 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., seven days a week.

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