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Manitoba to Begin Ice-Jam Mitigation on Red River

February 16, 2023 8:05 AM | News


An Amphibex icebreaker operates on the Red River north of Selkirk on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. (CHRISD.CA FILE)

Manitoba will soon begin its annual ice-cutting program on the Red River to reduce the potential for ice jams this spring.

Officials say the program, which began in 2006, will see crews start the job next week.

Ice will be cut and broken up on the lower Red River and several other rivers. Ice jams form when floating ice is blocked from moving downstream, forcing water to back up and overflow riverbanks.


The province will be using remote-controlled ice-cutting units and three Amphibex icebreakers to break approximately 28 kilometres of ice on the Red River from Selkirk to Netley Marsh for an approximate width of 100 metres.

Operations are also planned on the Icelandic River in mid to late March, but are not expected to be required at the Portage Diversion.

The province will be monitoring conditions in the Assiniboine River basin to determine whether icebreaking activities at the Portage Diversion are needed.