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VIDEO: Portage Readies for Assiniboine River Crest

July 9, 2014 11:32 AM | News

WINNIPEG — Homes along the Assiniboine River are bracing for a surge of water today as the crest is expected to hit the Portage Reservoir this evening. An earlier prediction had the peak coming at noon today.

A rapid response by flood-fighters in the province, after a deluge of rain two weeks ago, has put volunteers, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and hundreds of the province’s staff into overdrive.

The crest of approximately 50,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) is somewhat downgraded than it was projected to flow last Friday at 54,000 cfs. The crest flows will be managed by directing up to 34,000 cfs through the Portage Diversion and 18,000 cfs down the Assiniboine River towards Winnipeg.

Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton said properties on both sides of the river should remain dry if the dikes hold as planned.

“The goal has been to ensure we can maintain the integrity of the Assiniboine dikes,” Ashton said. “Maintaining the maximum flow through the Assiniboine during this critical period is a fundamental goal.”

Once the crest arrives at the Portage Diversion, it will take approximately 24 hours to travel to Baie St. Paul and the downstream communities.

A deliberate cut at the Hoop and Holler Bend will only be used as a last resort if flows exceed the capacity of flood channels. Preparation work, in the event that a breach needs to be made, was completed earlier this week.

An estimated 212,700 sandbags have been produced and 184,000 have been delivered so far. The remainder is being reserved for rapid deployment.

ChrisD.ca video

Updated at 11:32 a.m.