Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 04/30/2013 4:49 PM | Comments: 0
A protest that delayed the opening of the Portage Diversion by 12 hours on Monday could have had dire consequences for four municipalities downstream, provincial officials said Tuesday.
While the government sought a court injunction to remove protesters -- which for a time included an opposition MLA -- greater water flows than expected were heading east along the Assiniboine River, officials said this afternoon.
The government sought to open the diversion to prevent flooding due to ice jams at 11 a.m. The gates did not open until 11 that evening.
The protest — and the involvement of Portage la Prairie Conservative MLA Ian Wishart — dominated debate in the legislature this afternoon, with Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton terming it unacceptable and irresponsible.
Ashton repeated those statements in a later news conference, flanked by the deputy ministers of Infrastructure and Transportation and EMO.
"What happened yesterday was irresponsible, was not acceptable. It created a real risk. It put other Manitobans at risk," Ashton told reporters.
The municipalities that could have been impacted by ice-jam induced flooding, had the Portage Diversion not been operated, included the RMs of Portage and Cartier, Headingley and St. Francois Xavier, officials said.
"If the opening of the diversion had been delayed further, residents and properties downstream could have been affected by a surge of water than occurred after an ice dam broke upstream of the diversion," the province said in its flood bulletin.
"After the ice dam broke, inflows to the reservoir during the night reached 13,000 cubic feet per second, with 7,000 cfs directed to the diversion," according to the bulletin. "An instantaneous peak with ice resulted in inflows to the reservoir reaching 17,000 cfs with 10,000 cfs directed to the diversion at 8:20 a,m. (today)."
Meanwhile, ice jams against a bridge along the Whitemud River at the town of Gladstone caused some overland flooding yesterday. Levels on the Whitemud are dropping upstream of Gladstone today.
The Seven Regions Health Centre in Gladstone required some minor sandbagging on a road access point, but the facility is not at risk, the province said. Ten area homes experienced minor flooding. There were no evacuations.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Judge's inquiry panel to begin Nov. 24
HSC sets aside 10 isolation rooms to deal with Ebola
No rules stop school trustee incumbents from using official email for campaigns
Murder trial begins for man accused of dismembering co-worker
Missing teen last seen in Elmwood
Winnipeggers resign themselves to new community mailboxes
Six-week-old infant dies at Red Sucker Lake First Nation
Winnipeg group trying to sponsor three Syrian refugee families to come to Canada
Five-year old boy dies after being struck by vehicle at St. Theresa Point First Nation
Six facing charges after police find guns, drugs at house
Two-vehicle crash on Trans-Canada Highway near Oak Lake covers lane with debris
Trustees elected in Division scolaire franco-manitobaine
Advance poll turnout continues to increase, sets record this year
Manitoba Hydro invites questions online on its bid to control Lake Winnipeg levels
Missing seven-year-old girl safely located
Police looking for man suspected of sexual assault at Fort and Graham bus shelter
Local Kurdish community rallying today in support of beseiged countrymen in Syria
Police arrest man in alleged sexual assault on transit bus
Conference Board forecast says Winnipeg economy slowed this year but will rebound
Pickups scheduled for KE students' belongings after fire
Bowman, Judy W-L neck and neck, poll shows
Harry Potter sport works its magic in Winnipeg
Above-normal temps in store this week
Loved ones gather to celebrate life of music educator
St. Norbert race highly competitive
Boy hit by taxi
Front-runners for mayor firing flurry of campaign promises
Only two more sleeps till election day
A search for the visionary mayor
More aboriginal candidates on campaign trail
Sharing the hip-hop scene with the city