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Risk of flood remains low south of the border

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The risk of a major flood in the Red River Valley south of the U.S. border remains low, thanks to mostly average snow and soil conditions and the expectation of another late spring.

In its second flood outlook of the year, the U.S. National Weather Service predicted a 50-per-cent chance of moderate spring flooding on main stem of the Red River and mild-to-moderate chances of flooding on smaller tributaries in North Dakota and Minnesota.

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This is based on average soil-moisture conditions, average stream-flow volumes and below-average snow-moisture content – as well as the high likelihood of a delayed thaw similar to the one the Red River Valley experienced last year.

Metereologist Greg Gust said in a statement a delayed thaw is good news, as a slow melt usually means more favourable flood conditions. But there is a risk of exposure to heavier snow and rain during a late winter.

The overall statistical probability of major flooding has increased a very small amount since January, he said.

Manitoba plans to issue its first flood outlook later in the month. While the snowpack around Winnipeg is high, the snow-moisture content is low here as well, Environment Canada has said.

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