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Evacuations possible in Brandon due to rising river

Faulty gauge led to innaccurate water level readings

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The City of Brandon is warning residents who live in low-lying areas to pack their bags and be ready to leave if an evacuation notice is given.

While the provincial flood forecast on Friday stated that the Assiniboine River would peak between 1182.5 and 1183 feet above sea level, city officials remain uncertain of the final level and want residents to be on high alert.

"Because of the sudden rise today and the uncertainty with the eventual level, the City of Brandon is advising that people who were previously contacted by the Brandon Police regarding flooding should activate their secondary emergency plans," said Brian Kayes, the city's director of emergency management in a news release.

Should an evacuation be required, residents will be notified door-to-door (where possible), by the siren system, and through local media. Residents are reminded to stay away from the Assiniboine River.

Dikes are being built up to deal with one foot more in flood water than first anticipated.

Officials said the work is needed because a faulty gauge on the Qu'Appelle River in Welby, Sask. was supplying inaccurate readings.

Officials said the dikes have to be increased to make sure there is enough freeboard to provide additional insurance.

The Qu'Appelle flows into the Assiniboine River, west of Brandon.

The flood level at Brandon now exceeds the record set in 1923.

Officials said water levels on the Assiniboine River at the First Street Bridge in Brandon are 1,180.4 ft., increasing 0.47 ft. since Thursday.

History

Updated on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 9:09 PM CDT: Adds possible evacuations

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