The flood threat on the Red River has been downgraded again — so much so the province says Highway 75 might stay open this spring.
In the latest flood update this afternoon, the province say the new forecast for the Red River has downgraded expected water levels. A peak flow of 45,000 to 55,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) is now expected at Emerson between May 7 and 11. Three weeks ago forecasters were calling for a flood on par with 2009, one of the more severe flood years in recorded history. Hwy 75. was closed for 36 days in 2009.
With that amount of water, it’s possible Highway 75 at Morris may stay high and dry.
In Winnipeg, water levels at James Avenue dropped to 18 feet Friday morning. The operation of the Red River Floodway and Portage diversion are maintaining stable levels in Winnipeg.
Elsewhere, a flood warning has been issued for Rock Lake near Pilot Mound due to ice jams. Water levels on the lake have risen quickly and are threatening some cottages.
In addition, a flood warning is in place along the Assiniboine River from Miniota to Brandon. A flood warning is issued when river levels are exceeding the banks and a flood is expected.
A flood watch has been issued for the Assiniboine River from Millwood to Miniota. A flood watch is issued when river levels approach the bank and are likely to overflow.
Flooding in these areas is expected to primarily affect agricultural land.
High water advisories are continued for streams in the Parkland region from the Duck Mountains to Gladstone; the Pembina River; the Swan River and tributaries; and smaller tributaries and drains in southeast and south-central Manitoba. Much of the runoff on some of these rivers is from Saskatchewan.
Flows on the Manitoba portion of the Souris River are beginning to increase slightly at the present time. Based on recent satellite imagery, the snowpack across the Souris River basin has largely melted.
Warmer temperatures over the weekend will increase melting and run-off, resulting in higher flows in rivers in western Manitoba. The snowpack is expected to be gone in most areas of the province by the end of the weekend.
The province also says the Assiniboine River is now ice free and flows on the river east of the Portage Diversion were increased to 8,000 cfs at noon. This will reduce flows through the diversion to 5,000 cfs by Saturday morning.