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Channel to drain Lake St. Martin could open July 2

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The province has received permission from Ottawa to reopen an emergency channel to drain Lake St. Martin, which is rapidly approaching flood stage.

A government spokesman said the channel could open as early as July 2.

Flood Fight

The channel was built in 2011 but requires federal approval before it can be operated. The province has permission to reopen it when the lake reaches a sustained level of 803 feet above sea level.

The government plans to explain its decision at a press conference this afternoon.

A spokesman said the province is consulting with First Nations communities as it addresses the lake level problem. It will also set up a channel flow monitoring system.

Waters from the outlet channel flow into Lake Winnipeg.

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