Summer flood bulletin #4

Province of Manitoba – Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation advises that weekend rainfall across much of southern Manitoba has resulted in flooding and record flow levels on 13 southern Manitoba rivers and streams, washed-out roads and some localized evacuations.

Tomorrow’s forecast calls for a high to severe wind warning for Lake Manitoba, the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg and southern shore of Lake Winnipegosis, and a wind warning for Lake of the Woods.  West winds on Lake Manitoba and the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg will become northerly by Tuesday morning, gusting 23 to 50 km/hr.  On Lake Winnipegosis, winds will increase to northerly and northwest at 26 to 53 km/hr while on Lake of the Woods, winds could reach 55 km/hr from the west and then southwest.  The winds could increase water levels and result in significant wave action on south, southeast and southwest shorelines (with water levels that could rise three to five feet).

Significant overland flooding is occurring in the Parklands and southwest regions of Manitoba.  Flows on tributaries to Dauphin Lake are increasing due to the recent precipitation and some are at record high levels due to recent precipitation.  Dauphin Lake is currently at 858.6 feet.  The forecast peak water level on Dauphin Lake is 860 to 860.4 ft., two ft. above flood stage and the historic peak level observed in 2011 was 860.7 ft.

Flood warnings have been issued for the Assiniboine River, from the Shellmouth Dam to Brandon, all points along the Winnipeg River system including Nutimik Lake, Lake St. Martin, Dauphin Lake, Qu’Appelle River, Vermillion River and Valley River near Dauphin, Medora Creek near Napinka, Gainsborough Creek near Lyleton, Gopher Creek near Virden, Roaring River at Minitonas, McKinnon Creek near McCreary, Scissor Creek near McCauley, Little Souris River near Brandon, Epinette Creek near Carberry, Graham Creek near Melita and the Little Saskatchewan River near Rivers.

Flood watches have been issued for Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, with high water advisories for all points along the Red, Souris and Saskatchewan rivers.

The storm system over the weekend brought significant amounts of rainfall to parts of western Manitoba, with some locations reporting well over 100 millimetres. Yesterday, Brandon received approximately 45 mm, Dauphin 17 mm and Melita 30 mm. Winnipeg received 11 mm and Gimli received 22 mm.

In accordance with the rules of operation, the Red River Floodway will be activated at 9 a.m. tomorrow and operate so that river water levels upstream of the floodway inlet remain below their natural level. This means there will be restrictions on boater access to the area around the inlet and the floodway control structure. The Red River is rising at all points and at James Avenue today was 17 ft. and is expected to rise to approximately 17.4 to 17.7 ft. in the next week and stay above 14 ft. until mid-July.

The Portage Diversion has been put into operation, with flows on the Assiniboine River at 12,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and the diversion is taking 1,780 cfs.

The Lake St. Martin gauge is registering a real-time water level reading of 803.3 ft., which is somewhat effected by the recent wind event.  Work to initiate the re-opening of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel is expected to begin July 2.  Operation of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Channel will increase outflow from Lake St. Martin, directly lowering levels, and allow the Fairford River Water Control Structure to remain at maximum discharge longer, thus allowing for higher outflows from Lake Manitoba later in the year.

The following 31 municipalities have declared a state of local emergency:

  • Archie, Arthur, Blanshard, Brandon (city), Brenda, Cameron, Coldwell, Cornwallis, Daly, Deloraine (town), Edward, Elkhorn (village), Hamiota, Hartney (town), Grahamdale, Melita (town), Miniota, Oak Lake (town), Pipestone, Roblin (town), Shellmouth-Boulton, Sifton, Siglunes, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, Strathclair, Virden (town), Wallace, Westbourne, Whitewater, Winchester, and Woodworth.

Provincial officials are in contact with these municipalities as they implement their emergency response plans. The province has been deploying flood mitigation equipment, such as Tiger Tubes and sandbags, to areas that may be most affected by flooding.

Approximately 200 people have evacuated their homes and communities.

Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation reports that several 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. Drive with caution and obey road closed signs.

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