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Red River Floodway Set to Be Activated

April 6, 2022 5:34 PM | News


Red River Floodway

The Red River Floodway gates south of Winnipeg are shown on Friday, October 11, 2019. (CHRISD.CA FILE)

WINNIPEG — The province plans to activate the Red River Floodway before the end of the week.

To manage water levels within Winnipeg, the floodway is expected to be open within the next 24 to 48 hours after a weather system brought two to 10 millimetres of precipitation on Wednesday.

A second system is forecasted to drop an additional 10 to 20 mm of rain and snow mix to southern Manitoba into Thursday.

Paired with the gradual snowmelt occurring, officials say the basins could raise levels above their bank-full capacities at some locations within the Red River Valley.

Meanwhile on the Assiniboine River, flows on the lower portion of the river are expected to increase to 5,000 cubic feet per second in the next 24 to 48 hours and trigger the operation of Portage Diversion to prevent ice jamming on the lower Assiniboine River east of Portage la Prairie and to control river levels in Winnipeg and areas along the Assiniboine River downstream of Portage la Prairie. Portage Diversion gates were opened today to clear out ice in the diversion channel in preparation for operation.

Elsewhere in the province, a flood warning is in effect for the Red River from Letellier to Morris and near St. Adolphe. A flood watch remains for the Red River from Emerson to the floodway inlet, where there is a risk of moderate flooding in these areas.

The province says water levels are expected to peak in the Red River Valley north of Emerson and south of the Red River Floodway inlet between April 6 and 16. Once the floodway is activated, the level of the Red River in Winnipeg at James Avenue is expected to peak between 17.4 and 18.4 feet between April 10 and 16. James Avenue is currently at 17.4 ft.

As for the Souris and Pembina rivers, a flood bulletin states water levels are relatively low with no significant flooding issues.

The risk of flooding on most major Manitoba lakes remains low, the province said.