Your Reading List

Summer flood bulletin #6

Province of Manitoba – The Manitoba government advises water levels on many rivers, creeks and streams in the Parkland, Interlake and southwest areas of the province continue to rise due to record weekend rainfall across much of southern Manitoba, resulting in significant overland flooding.

Record high flows are reported on several streams and tributaries as well as high flows on larger rivers such as the Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris rivers.

Flood Warnings, Watches and High Water Advisories

Flood warnings have been issued for:

  • the Assiniboine River, from Shellmouth Dam to Brandon;
  • all points along the Winnipeg River System including Nutimik Lake;
  • Lake St. Martin;
  • Dauphin Lake;
  • the Qu’Appelle River;
  • the Vermillion and Wilson rivers and the Valley River near Dauphin;
  • Medora Creek;
  • Gainsborough Creek;
  • Pipestone Creek;
  • Gopher Creek;
  • Roaring River at Minitonas;
  • McKinnon Creek;
  • Scissor Creek;
  • Little Souris River;
  • Epinette Creek;
  • Graham Creek;
  • Little Saskatchewan River;
  • Smith Creek;
  • Cutarm Creek;
  • Silver Creek;
  • Elgin Creek;
  • Birdtail Creek;
  • Arrow River;
  • Oak River:
  • Rolling River;
  • Stony Creek;
  • Antler River; and
  • Turtlehead Creek.

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.

Weather

A high pressure system has moved into Manitoba, which will bring sunnier weather for the next three days.  As temperatures rise, there could be sporadic thunderstorms due to high humidity and higher temperatures.

Situation Update

Approximately 500 people have evacuated their homes and communities due to flooding in 2014.

Municipalities are co-ordinating evacuations in their communities.  Evacuations from First Nations communities are co-ordinated by the Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters (MANFF) and Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).

There are 41 municipalities and communities that have declared a state of local emergency including:

  • the rural municipalities of Albert, Alonsa, Archie, Arthur, Birtle, Blanchard, Brenda, Cameron, Coldwell, Cornwallis, Daly, Edward, Elton, Eriksdale, Grahamdale, Hamiota, Miniota, Morton, Ochre River, Pipestone, Russell,  Shellmouth-Boulton, Sifton, Siglunes, Strathclair, Wallace, Westbourne, Whitehead, Winchester and Woodworth;
  • the towns of Birtle, Deloraine, Hartney, Melita, Oak Lake, Roblin and Virden;
  • the villages of Elkhorn and Winnipegosis,
  • the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation; and
  • the City of Brandon.

A helicopter from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship is on standby in Brandon to undertake rescues as needed.  Since the helicopter arrived yesterday afternoon, it has not flown any rescue missions.

In addition, the Office of the Fire Commissioner has deployed a water rescue team in Brandon to support emergency water rescues.

Eastern Manitoba

The Winnipeg River system is experiencing very high flows due to significantly higher-than-normal precipitation in eastern Manitoba and northwest Ontario.

Water levels are at record highs and will likely continue to rise.  The province provided a sandbag machine yesterday and more than 70,000 sandbags.  Sandbagging is taking place to protect several properties in area.

Areas all along the Winnipeg River could see levels rise more than a foot in the next week.

Manitoba Conversation and Water Stewardship staff are working with cottage owners to make appropriate preparations.

Red River

The Red River is rising at all points in Manitoba but is declining in the United States.

The Red River is at 17.6 ft. today at James Ave.  In Winnipeg, and is expected to remain above 14 ft. until mid-July.

In accordance with the rules of operation, the Red River Floodway is now in operation, with flows of approximately 2,550 cfs in the channel.  Flows are continuing to rise at the floodway gates.

Boaters are reminded there are restrictions in place and they should not approach the inlet structure.

Assiniboine River

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, particularly those on the north or east side of the river, are continuing to rise due to the recent precipitation.

The water level on the Shellmouth Reservoir has increased to 1,411.7 ft.  Inflows to the reservoir are approximately 6,130 cfs today while outflows from the reservoir are approximately 5,020 cfs.

The Shellmouth Reservoir water levels are forecast to peak at approximately 1,414 ft. on or around July 8.

The Assiniboine River at Brandon is forecast to peak at 34,000 to 37,000 cfs on or around July 11.  The peak water flow at Brandon during the 2011 flood was 36,730 cfs.  The permanent flood protection dikes built following the 2011 flood will provide adequate flood protection.

The City of Brandon is taking steps to reduce the effects of flooding in the community.

The Portage Diversion has been put into operation, with flows on the Assiniboine River above the diversion of 18,021 cfs. The diversion is redirecting 7,550 cfs.

The Assiniboine River at the Portage Reservoir is forecast to peak at 45,000 to 47,000 cfs on approximately July 13.

The Assiniboine River from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg is expected to experience flows of 15,000 cfs for an extended period of time, forecasts could be revised up if there is increased precipitation.

Manitoba is asking municipalities, residential, commercial and agricultural landowners on the Assiniboine River, between Portage la Prairie and Headingley to make necessary preparations for higher flows.  This could include closing off gated culverts, flood protecting structures and putting pumps in place to provide drainage for run-off from precipitation and dike seepage.

Assiniboine River and Tributaries

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.

Water levels and flows on the Souris River increased at Melita, but decreased slightly at the towns of Souris and Wawanesa today.

Overland flooding is affecting some areas or properties along the Whitemud River.

Whitewater Lake is at a historic high of 1,633.3 ft. and is forecast to peak at a water level of approximately 1,633.5 ft. The lake is high enough to spill naturally into the Medora Creek and it has been reported that a nearby road was overtopped, resulting in flooding of agricultural land.

Parkland Region

Flows on many of the rivers and streams in the Parkland Region reached record levels due to the recent precipitation event.  Flows on most streams in the region remain high but are generally dropping.

Current levels on Dauphin Lake are 859 ft.  The forecast peak water level on Dauphin Lake is 860 to 860.4 ft., due to the effects of recent precipitation.  The peak water level in 2011 was 861.14 ft.

Flood stage on Dauphin Lake is 858 ft. and the summer target level is 855 ft.

Lake Manitoba

The Lake Manitoba water level this morning was at approximately 813.6 feet at Steeprock, while the water level at Westbourne was 814.4 ft.  These water levels are affected by the recent strong winds.

The forecast peak water level on Lake Manitoba is being re-evaluated to account for the effects of recent precipitation.

Work to initiate the re-opening of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel has started.

Operation of the channel will increase outflow from Lake St. Martin, directly lowering levels on Lake Manitoba.

This will also allow the Fairford River Water Control Structure to remain at maximum discharge longer, 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 cubic feet per second (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 Pas and Northern Manitoba

The flow on the Saskatchewan River at The Pas today is 65,400 cfs.  The peak on the Saskatchewan River is forecast at approximately 67,000 cfs or a water level of 854.66 ft., between July 7 and 12.

The flow on the Carrot River at Turnberry is at 2,160 cfs and the water level dropped slightly today.  The Carrot River near The Pas is forecast to peak at 856.3 ft. between July 7 and 12.

Road Information

Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation reports that 72 sections of 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.

For current highway conditions, call 511, visit www.manitoba.ca, www.mb511.ca or follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovRoads.

To check if the roads you intend to travel on are accessible, visit http://www.gov.mb.ca/mit/roadinfo/.

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.

About the author

Comments

explore

Stories from our other publications