Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Spring flood threat remains slim, floodway not expected to be used

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Recent snow in the Red River Basin and in North Dakota and Minnesota has edged up Manitoba's spring flood outlook, but only slightly.

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

Officials added the flood risk on the Red River south of Winnipeg is approaching an "unfavourable weather scenario" due to recent snowstorms, 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 said 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 there is a 10 per cent chance the Red River flows will exceed the revised forecast, increasing the chance 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 expected 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 recorded a snow-water equivalent of 50 mm between March 30 and April 2.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 5, 2014 A4

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