Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

How the dike will be cut

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As early as noon today, the province will cut a hole in Provincial Road 331 southeast of Portage la Prairie to release flood water from the Assiniboine River.

Here's how they will do it:

Heavy machinery will cut a 65-metre-wide channel in the road near an oxbow in the river. An oxbow is a former section of river channel that's been cut off by channel erosion. But with the Assiniboine rising, the oxbow has filled up with water.

Crews will leave one-quarter of the road in place, to be taken out quickly when needed.

They will then fill in the open area with rock to act as a temporary dam.

When needed, the rock will be removed and the rest of the road taken out to release water from the Assiniboine.

Rock will be put back in to close it off once enough water has been released.

Enough rock is being hauled to the site to make sure the "notch" does not become an uncontrolled breach.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2011 A6

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