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Dikes should be ready for next week's crest

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Warm weather has brought some relief to floodfighters in southwestern Manitoba, provincial officials said today.

It has given floodfighters valuable time to build massive dikes as forecasters predict floodwaters will arrive on the Souris River July 4, a day earlier than first predicted.

Flood Fight

Hundreds of workers and volunteers are currently building emergency dikes in Melita, Souris and Wawanesa. Dikes are also being raised at The Pas as the Saskatchewan River rises.

Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton said all major dikes should be finished when the high water starts to crest starting July 4 in Melita.

He also said the water rushing down the Souris will raise levels in the Assiniboine River. The Souris meets the Assiniboine near Holland.

That means the inflow into the Portage Reservoir near Portage la Prairie is forecasted to reach 48,000 to 52,000 cubic feet per second between July 8 - 14.

That amount means more water being sent down the Portage Diversion into the swollen Lake Manitoba as the Assiniboine River east of Portage can only handle about 18,000 cfs.

The high water on the Souris and Saskatchewan rivers comes from the late-melting snowpack in the Rockies and a number of heavy rainstorms that have deluged the prairies for more than a year.

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