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Flood risk remains low, despite recent snowfall

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Officials do not expect to use the Red River Floodway this spring.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Officials do not expect to use the Red River Floodway this spring. Photo Store

The province revised its spring flood outlook for southern Manitoba today as a result of recent significant snowfall in the Red River Basin and in North Dakota and Minnesota.

Highway 75 is still expected to remain open and the Red River Floodway not expected to be used.

But the province said today the flood risk on the Red River south of Winnipeg is approaching an "unfavourable weather scenario" due to recent snow storms, which contributed substantially to U.S. snowpack. Some locations recorded a snow-water equivalent of 40 millimetres between March 30 and April 2.

Those conditions could result in minor to moderate flooding with river levels from Emerson to Winnipeg possibly slightly higher than in 2008 and 2012.

The province also said in that unless a major storm occurs in the coming few weeks, Highway 75 will not be closed and the Red River Floodway will not be operated.

However, it added that there is a 10 per cent chance that the Red River flows will exceed the revised forecast, increasing the chance that the the floodway will be operated.

Based on Environment Canada's long-range weather forecast, the province expects precipitation on the Red River Basin will remain near normal. The U.S. National Weather Service also forecasts no major storms in the Red River Basin.

Minor flooding is also expected to occur on small tributaries such as the La Salle, Rat and Morris rivers, and on Buffalo Creek.

On the Winnipeg River the flood risk is approaching the predicted unfavourable weather scenario as some areas in Ontario and the Lake of the Woods areas recorded a snow-water equivalent of 50 mm between March 30 and April 2.

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