Summer flood bulletin #7

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 rainfall across much of southern Manitoba, resulting in significant overland flooding.

Situation Update

  • Approximately 565 people have evacuated their homes and communities due to flooding in 2014.  This includes approximately 160 evacuees from two communities due to spring flooding.
  • Communities with evacuees include the rural municipalities of Albert, Archie, Cameron, Edward, Miniota, Pipestone, Siglunes and Wallace, the town of Virden, the Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation, the Ebb and Flow First Nation, the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, the Waywayseecappo First Nation and the Peguis First Nation.  Many evacuees are staying with family and friends.
  • 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).
  • As of late Wednesday, 43 municipalities and communities have declared a state of local emergency.  New declarations have been made by the rural municipalities of Glenwood and North Cyprus.
  • A helicopter from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship is on standby in Brandon to undertake rescues as needed.  Since the helicopter arrived Tuesday 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.
  • Several flood warnings, watches and high water advisories remain in place.  A new flood watch was issued for the Souris River.  New high water advisories were issued for the Swan and Red Deer rivers and Red Deer Lake.

Well Water Safety

  • The Chief Provincial Public Health Officer is reminding Manitobans with private wells or systems using untreated water in areas affected by overland flooding of the steps they should take for the safety of their drinking water.
  • As a precautionary measure, people using water from wells or other sources that may have been affected by flooding should boil their water before using it or find alternative supplies of drinking water until flooding subsides and testing confirms the water is safe to drink.
  • Visit www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/spring_outlook/wellwater_safety_factsheet.pdf for more information.
  • During a flood or periods of heavy rain, there is an increased risk that wells may become contaminated.  Homeowners are responsible for assessing the risk to their wells and should boil water used for drinking and cooking if the risk is high.
  • For the duration of the flood season, test costs for affected well owners are being waived.  The province will cover the full cost of analysis for one sample per affected household.
  • To be eligible for this subsidy, samples should be marked ‘2014 Flood’ and submitted to Horizon Lab Ltd. at 4055 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E8.  To contact them directly, call 204-488-2035.

For information on the subsidy program, visit: www.gov.mb.ca/waterstewardship/odw/public-info/water-well/index.html.

For more information on the health and safety risks of flooding, visit: www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/health_safety.html.

Assiniboine River

  • There is overbank flooding in the Assiniboine River valley between the Shellmouth Dam and Brandon.  High flows continue on Assiniboine River tributaries.
  • The water level on the Shellmouth Reservoir has increased to 1,412 feet.  Inflows to the reservoir are approximately 8,750 cubic feet per second (cfs) today while outflows from the reservoir are approximately 5,650 cfs.
  • The Shellmouth Reservoir water levels are forecast to peak at approximately 1,414 ft. between July 8 and 11.
  • The Assiniboine River at Brandon is forecast to peak at 32,000 to 35,000 cfs on or around July 6 to 7.  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 at 23,490 cfs.  The diversion is redirecting 12,990 cfs.
  • The Assiniboine River at the Portage Reservoir is forecast to peak at 48,000 to 52,000 cfs on or around July 11 to July 12.
  • The province is readying both the Portage Diversion channel and the lower Assiniboine River dikes to manage these peak flows for an extended period of time.
  • The Manitoba government is assisting 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 declining but remain high.
  • 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 slightly at Melita and by 2.7 ft. at the town of Souris.  Water levels decreased slightly at Wawanesa today.  Manitoba government staff is working with local officials to make appropriate preparations.
  • The forecast for the Souris River has been updated.  The Souris River at Melita is near peak today.
  • The forecast peak at the town of Souris is 15,000 to 16,000 cfs and a water level of 1,356.8 to 1,357.5 ft. between July 4 and 5.
  • The forecast peak at Wawanesa is 16,200 to 17,800 cfs and a water level of 1,155.8 to 1,156.6 ft. between July 5 and 6.
  • Whitewater Lake is at a historic high of 1,633.4 ft. and is forecast to peak at a water level of approximately 1,633.5 ft.

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 the area.
  • Manitoba government staff is working with cottage owners to make appropriate preparations.

Parkland Region

  • Water levels on the Swan River at the town of Swan River are increasing slightly.  Water levels at the town of Swan River will continue to rise and are expected to peak at levels similar to what was experienced in 2006. Some protective measures may be required and are being assessed.  Provincial officials continue to monitor the situation.
  • Flows on many of the rivers and streams in the Parkland region reached record levels due to recent precipitation. Flows on most streams in the region remain high but are generally dropping.
  • Current levels on Dauphin Lake are 859.5 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 ft. at Steeprock, while the water level at Westbourne was 813.9 ft.  These water levels are affected by the recent strong winds.
  • The forecast peak water level on Lake Manitoba is 814.5 ft. to account for the effects of recent precipitation.
  • Work to initiate the re-opening of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel has started.  Flows are expected to begin by Friday morning and the channel is expected to be fully open by Saturday.
  • 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 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.

Red River

  • The Red River is rising at all points in Manitoba but is declining in the United States.
  • The Red River decreased to 17.5 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.

The Pas and Northern Manitoba

  • The flow on the Saskatchewan River at The Pas today is 65,860 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 2,660 cfs and the water level increased by 1.2 ft. today.  The Carrot River near The Pas is forecast to peak at 856.3 ft. between July 7 and 12.

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