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.
Significant overland flooding is occurring in the Parklands and southwest regions of Manitoba. High flows are reported on streams and tributaries in this area as well as on larger rivers such as Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris rivers.
Environment Canada has issued a gale wind warning for the north basin of Lake Winnipeg and a strong wind warning for the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg, Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipegosis, and Lake of the Woods.
Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre reports the wind forecast for tomorrow results in a moderate wind warning for the south shore of Lake Winnipeg and a low wind warning for the south shoreline of Lake Manitoba. The winds could increase water levels by up to two feet in these locations and result in low to moderate wave action on the south, southeast and southwest shores.
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, Wilson 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.
In accordance with the rules of operation, the Red River Floodway is now in operation, with flows of approximately 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the channel. Boaters are reminded there are restrictions in place and they should not approach the inlet structure. The Red River is rising at all points in Manitoba but beginning to decline in the United States. The Red River is at 17.5 ft. today and is expected to stay at approximately 17.4 to 17.7 ft. in the next week and remain above 14 ft. until mid-July.
There is overbank flooding in the Assiniboine River valley between the Shellmouth Dam and Brandon. High flows are reported on the Assiniboine River tributaries and most tributaries are continuing to rise due to the recent precipitation.
The Portage Diversion has been put into operation, with flows on the Assiniboine River of 13,320 cfs and the diversion is taking 2,770 cfs.
The water level on the Shellmouth Reservoir has increased to 1,411.5 ft. Inflows to the reservoir are approximately 6,750 cfs today while outflows from the reservoir are approximately 4,600 cfs.
The Qu’Appelle River is experiencing extremely high flows, with the flow reported at Welby, Sask. yesterday setting a new record at over 15,000 cfs. Flows on the Qu’Appelle River upstream in Saskatchewan are beginning to decline but may remain high for a long period of time.
The Souris River basin received a significant amount of precipitation from the recent storm. This has resulted in overland flooding in many areas and high flows on streams and drains as well as the Souris River.
The forecast peak water level on Dauphin Lake is 860 to 860.4 ft., due to the effects of the recent precipitation event. Flood stage on Dauphin Lake is 858 ft. and the summer target level is 855 ft.
The Winnipeg River system is experiencing very high flows due to significantly higher-than-normal precipitation in eastern Manitoba and northwest Ontario. Areas all along the Winnipeg River could see levels rise more than a foot in the next week. Residents and cottagers are advised to be aware of the levels and take appropriate action.
Work to initiate the re-opening of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel has started today. 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 initial discharge through the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel will be approximately 5,600 cfs. The channel is expected to stay open until the spring of 2015 and will help bring the Lake St. Martin water level below 801 ft. by Oct. 31.
The Lake St. Martin gauge is registering a real-time water level reading of 803.8 ft., up half a foot from yesterday, however there are strong winds on the lake which could cause a higher reading.
There are currently 34 municipalities that have declared a state of local emergency and 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.
To check if the roads you intend to travel on are accessible, visit http://www.gov.mb.ca/mit/roadinfo/.