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Province to Conduct Controlled Release of Flood Waters

May 9, 2011 6:55 PM | News

To help reduce the risk of dike breaches along the Assiniboine River between Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg, the Manitoba government will be conducting a controlled release of water south of the Assiniboine dikes.

Should an uncontrolled breach occur, the communities of St. Eustache, Elie, St. Francois Xavier, Poplar Point, High Bluff, Bernard, Fortier, Starbuck, Sanford and La Salle would be affected by large flows of water of 15,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), reaching 500 square kilometres.

Fewer than 150 homes will be affected by a controlled release, while 850 homes would be at risk in an uncontrolled breach.

The release will happen on Wednesday or Thursday of this week if flows cannot be managed on the Portage Diversion and on the Assiniboine River.


Earlier Monday, the province declared a state of emergency — the first time since the 1997 flood. The declaration allows for federal resources and additional equipment to help hold back flood waters.

Meanwhile, the RMs of Cartier, St. Francois Xavier, Headingley and Portage la Prairie were put on evacuation notice late Monday. Residents evacuated should call the Red Cross at 1-888-662-3211 to register.

About 1,000 Brandon residents will have to be out of their homes by 8 p.m. tonight as part of a mandatory precautionary evacuation. The affected areas include from 4th Street North to 26th Street North, from the CP Train Tracks to the river. The Canadian military — which was previously only supposed to help sandbag from Portage la Prairie to Headingley — will now assist with flood relief efforts in Brandon.

The city of Winnipeg is not affected by the increase in levels on the Assiniboine River.

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