Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Flood watches/warnings shift along Assiniboine; Red starting to settle
A flood watch has been upgraded to a flood warning along the Assiniboine River from Virden to Brandon due to rising river levels above the banks, the province said today.
Flooding in these areas is expected to mostly affect agricultural land.
Meanwhile a flood warning has been downgraded to a flood watch for the Assiniboine River from Millwood to Virden and a flood watch continues for the Whitemud River.
The province also said cooler temperatures this week have slowed run-off, particularly in the Parkland region. Warmer temperatures over the next two days will increase melting and run-off and result in higher flows in rivers.
South of Winnipeg, the Red River has crested at Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D. and is now receding.
In Manitoba, the Red River is rising but conditions remain favourable at this time. Flows on most Red River tributaries are either stable or declining.
In Winnipeg water levels at James Avenue dropped to 18.3 feet Thursday morning. Levels and flows in Winnipeg have stabilized as a result of the operation of the Red River Floodway and Portage Diversion west of the city.
Near Portage la Prairie, a designed fail-safe on the west dike of the Portage Diversion is currently operating and water is spilling mostly onto provincially owned lands and some private agricultural land near the north end of the diversion.
The province says his is due to higher flows in the diversion and an ice jam near the outlet at the lake.
Flows to the Portage reservoir from the Assiniboine River remain high at 20,100 cubic feet per second (cfs). The Portage Diversion is handling flows of 15,100 cfs while flows on the Assiniboine River downstream of Portage are being maintained at 5,300 cfs to reduce the risk of ice jams downstream.
Once the threat of ice jams is over, less water will be diverted through the diversion. A high water advisory continues for the Assiniboine River between Portage la Prairie and Headingley due to the increased potential for ice jamming.
The Rural Municipality of Montcalm east of Winkler has advised approximately 11 families in rural areas of the municipality to consider a precautionary and voluntary evacuation due to loss of road access.
Arthur, Cornwallis and Cameron municipalities have declared states of local emergency. A state of local emergency allows a municipality to respond quickly to flood situations.
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