Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Widespread flooding as storm swamps city

Vehicles abandoned in water-filled roadways

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Torrential downpours Thursday night caused the cancellation several events, flooded buildings, washed out roads and trapped drivers in flash floods.

The Goldeyes baseball game and races at the Red River Co-op Speedway were cancelled.

Reports on Twitter showed flooding at Polo Park shopping centre, as well as at the planetarium at the Manitoba Museum.

In photos, water in Polo Park could be seen pouring down from leak in the roof, flooding the floor near Sears and flowing into the perfume displays.

Empress Street at Polo Park, as well as Broadway and Osborne Street were flooded.

Rainwater also permeated Winnipeg's new police headquarters, where the basement flooded. Restoration vans carrying vacuums entered the Graham Avenue structure shortly before 10 p.m.

Caspian Construction owner Armik Babakhanians, whose company is overseeing the $172-million renovation of the former Canada Post building, said there was no damage.

Pictures posted on social networks showed flooding on numerous other streets. In some cases, drivers went off-road and drove on sidewalks or bike paths. Some cars got stuck in underpasses.

Environment Canada was forecasting between 40 and 50 millimetres of rain in the city. A severe thunderstorm warning was in effect in Winnipeg until about 8:16 p.m.

Mike Russo, severe-weather meteorologist at Environment Canada, said the storm was created by a slow-moving cold front that had a line of thunderstorms along it. The most severe of those storms went through Winnipeg. Russo said Environment Canada received reports from 25 mm to 50 mm of rain throughout the city. To add insult to injury, the storm seemed to be taking its time passing over the city.

"The problem is the front itself is moving ever-so-slowly, and the showers and thunderstorms are quasi not moving at all," he said.

This type of storm is not unusual, Russo said. Any storm with at least 50 mm of downpour is automatically categorized as severe, he said.

oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2014 B4

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Updated on Friday, August 22, 2014 at 8:02 AM CDT: Adds photo

3:58 PM: Adds photos, videos

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