Work on the Portage Diversion west of Winnipeg continues this week as the province readies itself for the possibility of spring flooding.
The province says work on the 30-kilometre long channel, that diverts water from the Assiniboine River into Lake Manitoba near Delta Beach, has been a combination of ongoing rehabilitation projects. Those include placing rip-rap (large stones) in a couple of areas and repairs related to the flood of 2011.
Work crews recently completed repairs to a portion of the channel’s bank and are now removing silt that has built up in the channel over the years. The work has been ongoing for the past several winters, the best time to do such work.
The province also says as the spring melt inches forward, the Portage Diversion will be completely operational.
Flood forecasters in Saskatchewan recently said runoff from that province is expected to be above normal. https://www.wsask.ca/Global/Lakes%20and%20Rivers/Provincial%20Forecast/SpringPotential_Runoff_Mar05_2013.pdf
"The rate of melt and how much additional precipitation falls as snow or rain in coming weeks will determine the risk of flooding this spring," Water Security Agency Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said Monday. "However, if the precipitation conditions going forward are consistent with their historical averages, most of the province will experience an above average spring runoff in 2013."
Manitoba flood forecasters said last month that it was likely the Portage Diversion would be operated, but to what degree is unknown at this early stage. A flood outlook later this month will give a better estimate of how much water might flow into the diversion and for how long. The February flood outlook indicated that Lake Manitoba would raise three tenths of a foot. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/no-flood-of-dire-predictions-this-year-193767381.html
The Portage Diversion ran beyond its capacity during the 2011 flood increasing the inflow to Lake Manitoba. The lake saw widespread flooding and damage to farm, residential and recreational property that is still being repaired. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/flood-victims-seeking-answers-192667841.html