WINNIPEG — The province could activate the Red River Floodway as early as Thursday evening as a high water warning is now in effect.
Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler says ice has to break up and clear upstream of the floodway inlet before the gates can be activated. That’s expected to happen either tomorrow or a day or two later.
“As Manitoba prepares for the rising waters of the Red River, we are taking measures to protect properties that could potentially be affected by high water,” said Schuler.
Water from the Red River began to spill into the Red River Floodway naturally on April 7. The initial operation is the first of several that will roll the gates off the river bed and push more water into the floodway inlet.
The high water warning is for the Red River from Emerson to the Red River Floodway inlet, just south of the city of Winnipeg, as the river is close to spilling its banks in most of the region. A high water watch has been issued for the Red River from Lockport to Netley Creek due to potential of some overland water in low-lying areas due to ice jamming.
The province says without further significant precipitation, the peak flow of the Red River at the floodway inlet is estimated to be between 68,000 and 74,000 cubic feet per second.
Water levels are expected to peak at Emerson between April 15 and 20 with the peak expected to reach the Red River Floodway between April 19 and 24. With the operation of the floodway, the Red River level in Winnipeg at James Avenue is expected to peak between 19 and 19.5 feet between April 13 and 17.