The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Record rain results in Manitoba opening emergency channel to prevent flooding

  • Print

WINNIPEG - Record precipitation is prompting Manitoba to open up an emergency channel to prevent flooding around Lake Manitoba.

High water is also prompting officials to look at using two other diversions to relieve pressure the Winnipeg region.

Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton said the province is opening a channel on Lake St Martin that drains water from Lake Manitoba and eventually dumps it in Lake Winnipeg. Using the channel should reduce the level of Lake Manitoba by about 15 centimetres, he said.

The soggy weather has also prompted the government to consider using the Red River floodway, which diverts water around Winnipeg, and the Portage diversion, a channel that funnels water from the Assiniboine River into Lake Manitoba.

"We need a break in the weather," Ashton said Wednesday at a flood briefing.

"We could use hot, dry weather. After a long, cold winter, we've had a wet, wet spring and summer. We're not done yet by the looks of the forecast."

The emergency channel at Lake St. Martin was built for $100 million in 2011 to ease pressure on Lake Manitoba. It is only a temporary channel which requires federal approval to operate. The province received that approval as water nears what is considered to be flood stage.

The channel is expected to open next week. In the meantime, Ashton said officials are weighing other options if the rain keeps coming.

"If the weather continues to be unseasonable, we've got tools available and we will use them," he said.

Up to 400,000 hectares of farmland could go unseeded in southwestern Manitoba this year because soggy conditions and relentless rain are making it impossible for farmers to get on their fields.

Steve Topping, executive director of hydrologic forecasting and water management, said the province has received 200 per cent more precipitation than normal this spring.

Lake Manitoba is high and can be whipped up even more by high winds, he said.

"We are putting out wind alerts on a daily basis," Topping said.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: School supply shopping

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Aerial view of Portage and Main, The Esplanade Riel, Provencher Bridge over the Red River, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Forks near the Assiniboine River, October 21st, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) CMHR
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the mandatory helmet law for cyclists under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google