Manitoba flood bulletin #9: April 20

Province of Manitoba media bulletin

Summary

  • The Portage Diversion is being operated for management of ice on the lower Assiniboine River as per established protocols.
  • Flow on the Portage Diversion is stable at 3,880 cubic feet per second (cfs) and flows on the Assiniboine River downstream of Portage are 5,000 cfs.
  • The ice cover in Winnipeg remains strong on the both the Red and Assiniboine rivers and is in general causing water levels to be two feet higher than open water conditions without ice.
  • At this time, the floodway has not been operated due to solid ice cover upstream (south) of the floodway.
  • In response to the persistent ice cover in Winnipeg and, in anticipation of the crests on both rivers, the Portage Diversion will divert additional flows and limit the flows downstream (east) of Portage la Prairie to 2,000 cfs for a period of three to four days.
  • A high water advisory has been issued for streams in eastern Manitoba, east of the Red River and south of the Winnipeg River, due to the remaining snowpack, an expected rapid melt and the potential for ice jams.
  • A high water advisory is issued when a heavy storm or high flows are expected and may cause water levels to rise, but not necessarily reach flood stage. A high water advisory can be an early indicator of conditions that may develop into a flood watch or flood warning.

Red River

  • The Red River has crested at Emerson. Flows were in the order of 37,000 cfs.
  • The Red River upstream (south) of the floodway inlet is expected to crest between April 22 and 23 at a flow of 42,500 to 43,500 cfs, with corresponding open water peak of 752.8 to 753.2 feet above sea level.
  • The James Avenue level in Winnipeg this morning was 16.8 ft., an increase of 1.6 ft. in the last 24 hours. The flow at James Avenue was recorded at 40,700 cfs.  The forecast levels for James Avenue are 18 to 18.75 ft. with river ice in place and 17 to 17.2 ft. with open water conditions.
  • The Red River is spilling naturally into the floodway at a with a rate of about 3,200 cfs. The floodway gates are not activated at this time.
  • The province will activate an Amphibex icebreaking machine to assist the City of Winnipeg if it can be effective in breaking up ice jams within the city.
  • The ice jam on the Red River south of Selkirk has moved slightly, but it is not causing any flooding issues.
  • Warmer temperatures expected today and in the next few days will expedite ice breakup.

Assiniboine River

  • The ice along the Assiniboine River from Shellmouth downstream to Sioux Valley is mostly intact. From Sioux Valley to Holland there is open water and shifting ice. Ice is predominantly intact from Holland through to Winnipeg.
  • The crest on the Assiniboine River is near Grand Valley. Water levels are above bank and minor flooding is occurring on low-lying agriculture land.
  • A high water advisory continues for the Assiniboine River from the Holland area to Portage la Prairie due to the potential for ice jams and associated flooding.

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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