Mother Nature is playing a waiting game with municipal officials and residents living near the Assiniboine River as another week of below-normal weather postpones the spring thaw.
RM of Cartier reeve Roland Rasmussen said dikes along the Assiniboine below the Portage Diversion have been checked and fortified.
But he’s reasonably confident that, once the Assiniboine starts flowing, the diversion will prevent serious flooding along the section that cuts through Cartier, St. Francois Xavier and Headingley before flowing into Winnipeg.
"We’ve contacted a few homeowners and let them know their properties might be at risk," he said.
Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation released a third spring flood forecast on April 10. The risk for flooding along the Assiniboine River was increased from moderate to major. However, the highest risk was identified for the section running eastward from the Saskatchewan border to the Portage Diversion.
Rasmussen said the municipality has flood-fighting equipment ready. The possibility of a rapid thaw increases with each passing week, as well as the chance of ice jams that can cause sudden overland flooding.
The provincial forecast reports that ice thickness on the Assiniboine River ranges between 40 cm (1.3 feet) and 66 cm (2.2 feet) and was unchanged from March measurements. The normal thickness averages between 30 and 61 cm (1 to 2 feet).
While everyone waits for warmer temperatures to bring on the spring break-up, Poplar Point residents John and Monica Griffiths are still waiting for provincial compensation for damage caused to their farm two years ago as a result of dike building.
"Land repairs are still promised, but no info on schedules," Monica stated in an email.