Flood Threat Remains Similar to 2009 Levels

Pieces of ice flow downstream in the Red River south of Winnipeg in this April 2009 file photo. (CHRISD.CA)

A massive winter storm south of the border last week has flood officials in Manitoba on their toes as several inches of snow from North Dakota is preparing to make its way into Manitoba in the form of added precipitation.

The U.S. National Weather Service said Friday major flooding is likely along all parts of the Red River. The river is expected to rise greater than its record of 1,452 feet in North Dakota.

On Friday, provincial flood forecasters delivered their updated spring flood outlook, saying it has remained relatively the same as before. Two prior flood outlooks predicted similar flood levels to those seen in 2009, but we could see river levels rise two feet higher than in that year south of Winnipeg.

The province has been taking preventative measures to protect property owners from the rising water, having raised dikes along the Assiniboine River and in the Portage la Prairie and Brandon areas.

The flood threat is still very dependent on water flows entering the province from the U.S. and Saskatchewan, as well as unseasonable weather bringing more precipitation.

“There is going to be flooding,” said Steve Ashton, emergency measures minister, but how much will depend on the speed of the spring melt. Ashton noted on this same day in 2009 — March 25 — the province was actively fighting a flood.