Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Flood Watch

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Newest developments:

Ice isn't nice

THE number of Winnipeg properties undergoing some form of flood protection is now up to 175, as 35 homeowners on the south side of the city were told to build foot-high sandbag dikes. Several hundred residents from Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation headed home Wednesday after the flood threat to their community lessened. There was no substantial change in the flood forecast on Wednesday. The level of the Red River in downtown Winnipeg remained at a little over 17 feet at James Avenue. But the Red River Floodway's ability to control water levels within the city remains on hold due to ice in its channel inlet.

 

South of the city

 

A promising development in the Red River Valley is that some major tributaries into the Red River have already crested. The Pembina River, which caused flooding in 1997, has already fallen from a high of 17 feet above river bottom, down to 10 feet. The Aux Marais River has also crested. The crest of Red Lake River is expected to have passed before the Red River crest, as well.

 

North of the city

 

Flood-threatened communities north of Winnipeg have called for a break in sandbagging preparation until Friday to service their equipment, rest weary volunteers and let municipal workers fight snow instead of water. "Resting our (staff) people doesn't mean they're going home to bed -- they're cleaning roads," said St. Andrews and West St. Paul emergency co-ordinator Paul Guyader.

 

Trouble spots:

THE risk of ice jams remains relatively high, especially within Winnipeg because of the number of bridges in close proximity to one another. The bridge in St. Jean Baptiste on Provincial Highway 246 also appears likely to become jammed with ice, local residents fear.

 

Weather impact:

THE effects of the additional dump of as much as 15 centimetres of snow in southern Manitoba as April began, along with the blizzard in North Dakota, will be assessed as soon as the snow ends, the province said Wednesday. Cool temperatures continue to prevent the melting of snow and ice.

 

Flood facts:

"ö 22 steamers are standing ready to resume thawing provincial road culverts and drains.

"ö 2 ice cutters (in photo at top), working near the bridge on PTH 4, went through the ice as they were coming off the river. Both operators are safe, as the units are designed to float.

"ö 237 Winnipeggers volunteered to sandbag as of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

 

Quote of the day:

 

'Nobody knows how high it will go'

 

-- Christie Road homeowner Mildred Smallwood as sandbaggers toil south of the Perimeter.

 

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 2, 2009 A5

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