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Summer flood bulletin #20

Province of Manitoba – 

Disaster Financial Assistance

  • The Manitoba government advises that a disaster financial assistance program is in place for this year’s summer flood.
  • The Manitoba government will provide flood-fighting municipalities with advanced disaster financial assistance funding to help with current financial demands.
  • Application forms and further details about the program are available online at www.manitobaemo.ca or by contacting the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization at 204-945-3050 in Winnipeg or 1-888-267-8298 (toll-free).  Applications are also available at most municipal offices.
  • Municipalities are the first line of defence in an emergency situation.  Based on local emergency plans and local knowledge, the municipality responds to the emergency situation first.  Provincial assistance is available when the scale or scope of the local response is beyond local capacity. In the case of flooding, municipalities begin the response by implementing their plans.  The province provides information and support, and once requested, equipment and other resources on a priority basis.  Responses to emergencies are a partnership between municipalities and the Manitoba government, along with support from local volunteers and agencies such as the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. When provincial resources are stretched, federal assistance is requested, as was the case in accessing the Canadian Armed Forces to reinforce the Assiniboine River dikes on an emergency basis.
  • Mobile recovery offices have visited several communities in the past week and will continue to be set up in the southwest area of Manitoba.  Staff are available to answer questions and take applications for disaster financial assistance.  In addition, the Canadian Red Cross and the Salvation Army will also have representatives on site.

Deloraine – The office will be located at the community hall at 111 Caver St. N tomorrow from noon to 6 p.m.
Brandon – The office will be located on the east side of the Keystone Centre grounds on Wednesday, July 16 and Thursday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Pierson – The office will be located in front of the Rural Municipality of Edward office at
58 Railway Ave. on Friday July 18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tilston – The office will be located in front of the Rural Municipality of Albert office on Tuesday July 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wind Warnings

  • Wind warnings are in place for today and tomorrow for the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg and the southern shorelines of Lake Manitoba.
  • A high wind warning is in effect for today for the south shoreline of Lake Winnipeg, a moderate-high wind warning for the eastern and western shorelines in the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg and a moderate wind warning for the south shoreline of Lake Manitoba.
  • Tomorrow, a moderate-high wind warning is expected for the southern shoreline of Lake Winnipeg.

Lake Manitoba

  • Increased flows on the Assiniboine River have led to a slight revision of the Lake Manitoba peak forecast reaching 814.8 feet by early August.  Wind-affected levels on Lake Manitoba this morning were 813.9 ft. at Steeprock and 815 ft. at Westbourne.
  • Planning meetings were held with municipalities along Lake Manitoba over the weekend to prepare for forecast lake levels over the next several weeks.  So far, 2,000 super sandbags have been distributed to municipalities.
  • Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation has also delivered a standard emergency response trailer (SERT) to the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent to assist with flood control efforts.
  • Wind-eliminated and wind-affected inundation maps have been prepared for possible flood scenarios on Lake Manitoba and can be found at: www.gov.mb.ca/mit/floodinfo/floodoutlook/watersheds_data_maps.html.
  • A comprehensive, $2.2-million flood mitigation study on the Lake Manitoba and Assiniboine River basins is currently underway and is planned to be completed later in 2014 following public meetings.
  • This study is assessing different combinations of projects on a basin-wide basis, to determine the most efficient and cost-effective ways to provide permanent flood protection to communities.
  • A comprehensive basin-wide approach is important, since projects upstream will affect downstream water levels and a combination of two small projects may be more efficient and cost-effective than a single, large flood protection project.
  • Many homes and cottages on Lake Manitoba have permanent flood protection in place above forecast levels, through participation in the Individual Flood Protection Initiative or Financial Assistance for Cottage Owners programs. These provincial programs provided grants to help landowners on Lake Manitoba build permanent flood protection for homes, cottages, farms and businesses.

Assiniboine River

  • Brandon – Brandon is expected to remain near crest level for about another day before gradually declining. Existing flood protection in Brandon is holding.
  • Portage Diversion – This morning, flows on the Assiniboine River into the Portage Reservoir rose to 49,450 cubic feet per second (cfs) and will be increasing as the second crest approaches.  Flows on the Portage Diversion are approximately 31,450 cfs and flows along the Assiniboine River dikes are 18,000 cfs. The second crest at the Portage Reservoir is forecast to be 52,000 to 53,000 cfs between July 15 and 17 and will remain high for a few days before declining.  It is expected the diversion will handle up to 35,000 cfs and 18,000 cfs will be maintained on the Assiniboine River between Portage la Prairie and Headingley. The Hoop and Holler Bend remains ready to use for a controlled breach if an urgent situation arises.

Red River Floodway

  • At approximately midnight last night, water stopped flowing into the Red River Floodway Channel.  The gates at the Floodway Inlet Control Structure will be lowered over the next few days.

Interlake Region

  • Flow on the Fairford River is approximately 12,530 cfs.  The outflow decreased slightly because north winds are forcing water to the south, decreasing the water level near the Lake Manitoba outlet, thereby decreasing outflow.
  • Levels on Lake St. Martin at Hilbre were 803.5 ft. this morning, up 0.1 ft.  It is likely these levels are affected by wind.
  • Outflow from Lake St. Martin through the Dauphin River was 11,610 cfs this morning and outflow through the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel is estimated at approximately 4,500 cfs.
  • Levels on Lake Pinemuta were 806.2 ft. yesterday, down 0.2 ft.

General Information

  • As of this morning, approximately 704 people are evacuated from their homes and communities due to flooding in 2014 including 160 evacuees related to spring flooding.
  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) reports that as of Friday at noon, this number includes approximately 517 people evacuated from Manitoba First Nations due to flooding in June and July.  Of these, 327 evacuees have registered with the Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters and are receiving temporary hotel accommodations, while the others are staying with friends and family in their communities.
  • AANDC reports that First Nations are responsible for emergency preparedness and leading emergency response on reserve.  AANDC is in regular contact with First Nation communities, along with federal and provincial emergency management partners, to ensure community-level response activities are being supported.
  • Manitoba is providing updated river and lake level forecast information to First Nations communities, municipalities, Northern Affairs communities and emergency responders.
  • The province is working directly with municipalities to address flooding issues.  As of this morning, 50 municipalities and communities have declared a state of local emergency.

Stress and Anxiety Resources

  • The scale and scope of the summer flood is very challenging for affected Manitoba families.  There are resources to help deal with the stress and anxiety that result from crisis situations.
  • Resources are available at www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/managing_stress.html.

Road Information

  • Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation reports sections of many provincial roads have been affected by the heavy rainfall and some roads are either closed or marked with caution.
  • Municipal roads may also be affected, closed or have load limitations in western Manitoba.  Drivers are reminded to assume bridges may be damaged on all roads.  Reduce speed and restrict weight to 10 tonnes only.  Drive with caution and obey road closed signs.
  • For current highway conditions, call 511, visit www.manitoba.cawww.mb511.ca or follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovRoads.

Up-to-date flood information can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/, on mobile devices at www.manitoba.ca or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBGov.

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