As the rain fell Monday evening, the gates to the Red River Floodway south of Winnipeg were raised.
Sitting at about nine feet below the water, it was the latest the gates have ever been raised in a season since the Floodway’s construction in 1968.
“We’ve had a very rapid melt in the last two days, and as a result, Manitoba’s tributaries of the Red River have risen very quickly. We’ve seen very significant rises within the city of Winnipeg,” said Steve Topping of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation.
Topping said the Red River at James Avenue is expected to rise to 16.5 to 17.5 feet by today.
“Once the benefit of the Portage Diversion, Shellmouth (Dam) — and we already have water running in the Floodway naturally — once we see benefits, we can raise water levels upstream of the Floodway to this pre-development level.”
The province can only activate the Floodway if ice is flowing freely through the inlet control structure as to not impede its operation.