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Flood update: second crest at Portage Diversion expected between Monday and Tuesday

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Aerial photo of bridge over the  Portage diversion dam just west of town where water is diverted north to Lake Manitoba.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Aerial photo of bridge over the Portage diversion dam just west of town where water is diverted north to Lake Manitoba. Photo Store

The second crest of on the Assiniboine River at the Portage Diversion is expected between Monday and Tuesday, the Province of Manitoba stated in a media release Saturday.

The second crest is expected to be similar to the first but increased flows are expected of 52,000 to 53,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), under ideal weather.

The increased forecast of 4,000 cfs of the second peak is expected to add less than 0.1 inches of water to the overall levels on Lake Manitoba, the province said.

This increased forecast is a result of the high flows on the Qu’Appelle River earlier this week and high flows on the Souris River that declined slower than expected. Peak flows are expected to last for a day or two before gradually declining.

On Saturday morning, flows on the Assiniboine River at the Portage Diversion were at 47,600 cfs with flows on the Portage Diversion at 29,600 cfs and flow on the Assiniboine River immediately downstream of the diversion at 18,000 cfs.

For the next crest forecast (at 52,000 to 53,000 cfs), it is expected the diversion will handle up to 35,000 cfs and 18,000 cfs will be going down the Assiniboine River between Portage la Prairie and Headingley.

The province said work done during the past week has strengthened the Portage Diversion and the Assiniboine River dikes which are both in good condition and expected to manage these forecast flows.

The Canadian Armed Forces Aurora plane is continuing to assist with monitoring dike and diversion conditions.

The Manitoba government has also announced a preliminary estimate of repair costs for roads and bridges in western Manitoba to be in excess of $200 million.

As of Saturday morning, 56 municipalities and communities have declared a state of local emergency.

In Brandon, record-breaking flows of 38,700 cfs were measured on Saturday morning. Peak flows are expected to last for a day or two are then expected to gradually decline.

Wind warnings have been issued for Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday for the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg and the southern shorelines of Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipegosis and Dauphin Lake.

The Assiniboine River has crested at St. Lazare, Miniota, Griswold and Brandon Valley with high water levels are expected to last for a day or two.

Inflows and the reservoir level of the Shellmouth Dam have crested and are declining.

In the Manitoba Lakes areas, forecasts are for severe northwest wind with gusts between 50 and 70 km/hr over the weekend. This will increase water levels and cause considerable wave action in the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg and the southern shorelines of Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipegosis and Dauphin Lake.

Planning meetings are underway with communities along Lake Manitoba this weekend to plan for forecast lake levels over the next several weeks. So far, 2,000 super sandbags have been sent into the area.

The emergency channel is lowering water levels on Lake St. Martin and Lake Pineumuta will benefit all First Nations communities around the lakes. Lake Manitoba will benefit from the operation of the channel as outflows will not have to be reduced through the winter, the province said.

Water levels on Lake St. Martin are down by 0.3 ft. since the partial opening of the channel, protecting communities from flooding.

Dauphin Lake in the Parkland area has a water level of 859.8 ft. and the lake appears to be near crest.

The Carrot River near The Pas was at 856.6 ft. Saturday and is forecast to peak at 856.8 ft. The Saskatchewan River is also at or near crest and remains within bank.

The province is reporting there have been approximately 741 people are evacuated from their homes and communities due to flooding in 2014 including 160 evacuees related to spring flooding.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) reports that as of Friday at noon, this number includes approximately 517 people evacuated from Manitoba First Nations due to flooding in June and July. Of these, 327 evacuees have registered with the Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters and are receiving temporary hotel accommodations, while the others are staying with friends and family in their communities.

While the province’s damage estimate so far of over $200 million does not include agricultural losses, it does say that approximately 30 bridges or culverts in southwestern Manitoba will need to be replaced, with another 50 needing repairs.

For information about the province’s disaster financial assistance program, which is now in place, go to www.manitobaemo.ca or by contacting the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization at 204-945-3050 in Winnipeg or 1-888-267-8298 (toll-free). Applications are also available at most municipal offices.

Mobile recovery offices have visited several communities in the past week and will continue to be set up in the southwest area of Manitoba. Staff are available to answer questions and take applications for disaster financial assistance. In addition, the Canadian Red Cross and the Salvation Army will also have representatives on site.

  • Deloraine - The office will be located at the community hall at 111 Caver St. N on Tuesday, July 15 from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Brandon - The office will be located on the east side of the Keystone Centre grounds on Wednesday, July 16 and Thursday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Pierson - The office will be located in front of the Rural Municipality of Edward office at 58 Railway Ave. on Friday July 18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For current highway conditions, call 511, visit www.manitoba.ca, www.mb511.ca or follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovRoads.

Up-to-date flood information can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/, on mobile devices at www.manitoba.ca or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBGov.

 

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