Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure (MTI) advises ice has largely cleared out from the Red River Floodway inlet and the floodway has been activated to manage water levels in the city of Winnipeg, after two weather systems this week brought precipitation to much of the Red River basin.
A small amount of flow is being used to flush ice from the Portage Diversion channel in preparation for normal operation expected to begin this weekend. Flows downstream on the Assiniboine River will be limited to 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to prevent ice jamming on the lower Assiniboine River east of Portage la Prairie.
The Red River has peaked at Emerson, St. Jean Baptiste, and Letellier and is near peak at Morris. A flood warning remains for the Red River from St. Jean Baptiste to Morris, at St. Adolphe and in the vicinity of Selkirk due to ice jamming. A flood watch remains for the Red River from Emerson to the floodway inlet except areas under flood warning. There is a risk of moderate flooding in these areas.
There are no significant precipitation events in the forecast for the next three days. Officials are monitoring a precipitation system that is forecast to affect southern Manitoba and the Red River basin in the United States mid- to late-next week. The timing, location and amount of this forecast precipitation system are not yet known. Flood forecasters at Manitoba’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre will continue to monitor the system and its impact on flows and levels as the system develops into next week.
As the snowmelt and runoff continue, localized flooding is occurring in some areas, often due to ice jams on streams and blockages in drains. MTI is responding to issues relating to provincial infrastructure and local authorities are managing other instances.
Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 75 is expected to remain open based on the current forecast. A number of provincial roads are being affected by high water levels, often due to ice jams or blockages in drains.
The forecast peak flow of the Red River at the floodway inlet is estimated to be between 42,000 and 46,000 cfs. Standard operating procedures for the Red River Floodway gates require river ice to be broken up and cleared upstream of the floodway inlet.
Manitoba has extensive flood control measures in place, including the Red River Floodway, Portage Diversion, Fairford River Water Control Structure and the Shellmouth Dam and Reservoir. These flood control measures together with individual and community flood protection dikes across the province continue to prevent property damage and reduce the potential impact of flooding on families and communities.
Recent significant investments in critical flood mitigation projects across the province include:
- raising the northbound lanes of PTH 75 by up to 1.2 metres to protect this major trade route from a 2009-level flood event;
- upgrading Provincial Road (PR) 246 to Manitoba’s highest loading standard to provide an efficient detour for PTH 75 as needed;
- ongoing repairs to dikes and pump stations at key locations throughout Manitoba’s major basins; and
- ongoing investment in the Portage Diversion including repairs to the outlet structure and upgrades to the control structure.
Manitoba continues to invest on new flood protection works, upgrade existing flood protection works and advance flood-prediction technologies so that residents are protected from increased flood threat due to climate change.