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Province issues first flood outlook

Posted: March 8, 2019


Province issues first flood outlook


The Province of Manitoba released its first Flood Outlook for Spring 2019 on Feb. 28.


According to Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler, the risk of major spring flooding in the Red River Valley is high.


"Early forecasting data shows that we expect to see major flooding along the Red River, with both the Red River Floodway and the Portage Diversion pressed into service,” Schuler said.


"Manitoba Infrastructure continues to gather data and work with counterparts in the United States and Saskatchewan to ensure timely information is available.”

With normal weather conditions, levels on the Red River south of the floodway are expected to be near 2011 levels.  Unfavourable weather conditions, including late season snow, spring rains and a more rapid snowmelt, would bring Red River levels comparable to 2009 levels. 


Water levels will be below the flood protection levels of community and individual dikes.  However, partial closure of some community dikes may be required to maintain local access.


Based on long-term weather forecasts, below-normal temperatures are expected in March and April, further delaying snowmelt, with the risk of spring rains occurring at the same time.  Manitoba Infrastructure is collecting ice thickness samples across Manitoba basins. 


Ice is expected to be thicker than normal, which would increase the risk of ice-jam flooding.

"March remains a crucial month in terms of snowmelt and weather conditions, and how that will affect the flood forecast going forward,” Schuler added.  "We expect to update Manitobans with more information as updated forecast data becomes available.”


RM of West St. Paul

In West St. Paul, sand bags will be available to residents who can pick them up at Public Works at 1159 Kapelus Drive when and if overland flooding does occur.


The RM has begun inspecting all dikes, including the Baldock Dike, in the municipality.


The RM of West St Paul will be performing the normal practice of clearing drains of snow and ice to minimize the possibility of overland flooding.


Residents are reminded not to move snow into the drains or drainage ditches. Ditch clearing is expected to start within the next 10 days, or when the weather is warm enough for best results.


The RM will be attending a Provincial Flood Preparedness Seminar in Selkirk on March 13. The RM will post flood updates at weststpaul.comwhen the Province provides further flood outlooks.


For more information, members of the public can contact the Manitoba Government Inquiry line at 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744. You can contact the RM of West St. Paul at 204-338-0306.


The province will also be providing more detailed information to municipal officials.  Further outlooks will be issued as updated forecast data becomes available.  More information about flooding and how to prepare for an emergency situation is available on the following sites: