By Sarah Klein
An ice jam north of the city released Thursday morning has resulted in water levels dropping significantly within the city. The James Avenue level has dropped one foot in the last 12 hours and is currently at 17.5 feet.
There currently is solid ice cover on the river within Winnipeg. When the ice begins to move, there is the potential of an ice jam developing that would cause river levels to rise very quickly – potentially up to three feet.
“With the drop in river levels, it is still critical for homeowners to complete and maintain their sandbag dikes that are currently under construction to provide protection against a potential ice jam, and for the peak river levels coming from the United States,” said Grant Mohr, Land Drainage and Flood Protection Planning Engineer with the City’s Water and Waste Department.
Approximately 40,000 sandbags have been delivered by the Public Works Department to approximately 30 at-risk properties. Sandbag production and delivery will continue to the properties for the coming crest. In addition, sandbags will be available for overland flooding.
Thursday’s update from the Province is unchanged and indicates that the peak in Winnipeg from the water flowing from the U.S. will be in the range of 19 to 20.5 feet James April 12 – 17. For comparison, the 2006 level was 20.4 at James Avenue. The City continues to monitor the situation closely.
The City of Winnipeg continues to prepare for a water level of 20.5 feet James. For that level, 33 flood pumping stations will be activated and about 200 flood control gates will be operational. In addition, there will be 32 temporary pumping locations set up.
As announced earlier this week, the City will be providing sandbags to those who need them. For emergencies, sandbags are available outside the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. by contacting 311.
Citizens are urged to:
– take care and use caution around rivers and bodies of water
– check sump pumps and backwater valves on an on-going basis.
- City of Winnipeg EmergWeb
- Flood Forecast
- Building a Dike
- Winnipeg’s Primary Dike System
- Protect Your Home from Basement Flooding
- James Avenue Datum
- Current River Levels
- Sandbag Information
via news release