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Flood alert issued for southwest Manitoba

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A flood alert has been issued by the province for southwest Manitoba.

Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation's Hydrologic Forecast and Water Management Centre said today water levels on the Assiniboine and Souris rivers are rising due to recent heavy rainfall.

The Assiniboine River and Souris River watershed has received 280 to 300 per cent above the normal precipitation from Aug. 19 to Sept. 1 or up to 120 millimetres (mm).

Peak flows of 12,000 to 12,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) are expected to reach Portage la Prairie sometime between today and tomorrow.

The province said at this time, the Portage Diversion will only be re-opened if western Manitoba gets more heavy rains. The diversion needs to be as water-free as possible to allow for critical repairs and maintenance due to it handling floodwaters earlier this summer.

Rain is in forecast for southern Manitoba tomorrow with up to 50 mm expected in some area, which could raise Assiniboine River flows up to 14,000 to 15,000 cfs.

The forecasted water flows downstream of the diversion could cause some overland flooding and officials are working with local governments on flood protection measures.

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