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Red River starting to recede; currently no plan to operate floodway

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The Red River crested overnight at Winnipeg and is now starting to recede at the James Avenue monitoring station.

At about 2 a.m. this morning, the Red River crested at 19.17 feet above normal winter ice levels at James Avenue, according to gauge readings. While this was slightly higher than a revised prediction issued last week, no additional Winnipeg properties were threatened by this level.

The river flow south of the city peaked at 55,200 cubic feet per second, provincial authorities said. That's about 40 per cent of the river's volume at the height of the 1997 "flood of the century."

The province did not operate the Red River Floodway apparatus this spring and does not plan to do so now. This could change if heavy rains in the southern Red River Valley create a second crest.

More precipitation is expected along the Assiniboine River drainage basin, but the province plans to rely on the Portage Diversion in the event Assiniboine flows increase significantly.

As of 2:30 p.m., the Red in Winnipeg had receded to 18.94 feet James. The crest of 19.17 approximates the peak of the spring flood of 2005 and is considered a moderate flood crest by Winnipeg standards.

Only three city properties required sandbag dikes as a precautionary measure this year.

North of Winnipeg, an ice jam at Selkirk has receded, said Steve Topping of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation.

It has moved downstream past Highway 4 and is approaching Netley-Libau Marsh. The ice has raised water levels in the vicinity and some sections of Breezy Point Road are under water.

While communities on either side of the lower Red River are protected, the town of Petersfield, along Netley Creek, has been alerted to be mindful of the potential for rising water levels due to an ice jam at the nearby marsh.

The Red River flows through the marsh to Lake Winnipeg.

History

Updated on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 10:21 AM CDT: corrects typo

10:45 AM: Updates with full writethru

2:39 PM: Updates with water level as of 2:30 p.m.

3:38 PM: Updates river conditions for north of Selkirk.

5:59 PM: Adds video.

9:50 PM: Adds photo.

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