The Red River in Winnipeg is expected to crest just high enough this spring to require the city to be ready to fight a flood -- but that's about it.
Based on provincial forecasts, the Red is expected to crest somewhere between 11.9 and 15.4 feet above normal winter ice levels at James Avenue, the city announced in a statement. That range is at the bottom end of what is considered a flood -- and does not require any city properties to be protected by sandbag dikes.
In 2013, the Red River crested in Winnipeg on May 1 at 18.8 feet James.
The city has sandbags stacked in warehouses in the event conditions change dramatically. But the province is predicting only minor to moderate flooding on the main stem of the Red River this spring and said today in a statement there are no flood warnings, watches or high water advisories at this time.
However, a storm predicting moderate to heavy snowfall levels is expected across southern Manitoba on Saturday. What snow falls will be factored into future forecasts.
The city is cautioning property owners to protect their basements from both overland flooding, which is typically caused by snowmelt, and sewer backups, which can take place when heavy rains occur while river levels are high. The city is once again inviting homeowners to apply for a basement-protection subsidy.
And Winnipeggers can pick up sandbags from the city between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Monday to Friday, the city announced this afternoon.
They can be picked up at the following locations:
- 1220 Pacific Ave
- 960 Thomas Ave
- 1539 Waverley St.
People picking up sandbags will need to provide photo identification to confirm city residency.
Or, if you have a need for sandbags over the weekend contact 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Most waterways in Winnipeg remain covered in ice and the city is advising residents not to venture on to frozen or thawing waterways.
Meanwhile, with the spring melt levels and flows are beginning to rise on creeks and major rivers in the southwest, south-central and Parkland regions of Manitoba. There is some minor overland flooding in the Swan River and Dauphin areas. Water is gathering in fields as some culverts and ditches remain snow-packed and frozen.
Routine preparations are now underway for minor operation of the Portage Diversion to clear ice. Water levels along the Assiniboine River are rising.
South of the border, the Red River has reached minor flood stage at Grand Forks and is not expected to rise beyond a moderate flood stage, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.