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Lake Manitoba to set record high: province

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WINNIPEG - Lake Manitoba is now expected to hit 816.5 feet in July -- almost a foot higher than previously forecast, Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick told the legislature today.

The higher level is due to heavy rains in May that soaked the Prairies and renewed flooding worries along the Souris and Assiniboine rivers.

The province had originally forecast Lake Manitoba would crest in mid-June at 815.8 feet.

The forecast means the lake is expected to reach a record high this summer. During the flood of 1955, Lake Manitoba reached 816.3 feet above sea level, according to Manitoba Water Stewardship.

The lake has not come close to that level until this year.

More Manitobans were evacuated from their properties on Dauphin Lake and Ochre River on the weekend because of flooding, Melnick said.

Higher levels are expected on the Saskatchewan River, which drains Alberta and Saskatchewan, where it flows into Lake Winnipeg near The Pas, she said.

History

Updated on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 3:23 PM CDT: Adds info on new record level.

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