Manitoba’s flood forecast hasn’t changed much since the first outlook in late February, as officials predict a near-normal flood risk this spring.
Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton said on Monday that barring any significant snowfall, the province is in for relatively normal spring flooding in most areas of the province. The exception will be in The Pas, where Ashton says above-normal soil moisture and above-normal winter precipitation have resulted in the potential for greater-than-normal run-off and the potential for localized flooding.
Models take into account additional precipitation, such as a spring storm, but overland flooding and ice jams in isolated areas could occur.
Ashton added that the Red River Floodway and Portage Diversion may not have to be operated this year if the spring melt isn’t a rapid one. If the Portage Diversion did have to be operated, it would not be at the level as seen in previous years, such as in 2011.
Steve Topping with hydrologic forecasting and water management said ice-cutting crews have also had to return to some areas to re-cut ice that has frozen again. Topping said areas around Netley Creek began to thaw and then froze, forcing ice-cutters to return to prepare for the Amphibex. The department’s annual budget of $1.6 million will cover the cost associated with the job, Topping said.