Flood fight ramps up in Winnipeg, province issues update on rising waters
Published Friday, April 8, 2011 10:24AM CST
The provincial government issued a flood update Thursday afternoon that said ice on the Red River was contributing to high water levels in Winnipeg.
An ice jam at the Redwood Bridge was also having effects, said city officials.
Provincial officials said the Red River rose 3.3 feet (one metre) to a level of 20.3 feet (6.2 metres) at 10 a.m. Thursday.
In Winnipeg, the city estimated it delivered about 100,000 sandbags April 7. About 100 homeowners in Winnipeg's south end have been told they need to build sandbag dikes by the weekend.
"I think the quick rise in the river surprised some homeowners and got them motivated to build the dikes a little quicker than we had thought," said Scott Payne, a Winnipeg public works flood coordinator.
Homeowners on Cloutier Drive said they noticed the increase in levels, with water lapping at some dikes.
"I'm just a little surprised it has come up so fast," said Glynne Davies, a homeowner.
More than 600 volunteers were helping with sandbagging efforts in Winnipeg on Thursday, including about 400 junior high and high school students.
"It feels good to help out," said Noel Fenez, a Grade 7 student.
Anyone wanting to volunteer to help with sandbagging efforts is asked to call the city's 311 line.
The City of Winnipeg is now estimating the Red River flood crest could arrive by Easter weekend.
East of Winnipeg near Lorette, the Seine River has been causing flooding problems.
North of Winnipeg, the Shoal Lakes and Selkirk areas have reported high water levels, with some roads closed.
Provincial officials said ice jams on the Red River in Selkirk are contributing to high water levels. Officials said, however, that levels are "still much lower than in previous years."
Manitoba Water Stewardship also said the Red River Floodway gates could be activated by the weekend, depending on ice flow.
A storm is forecast to bring rain and snow on the weekend, which will add to Red River water levels, but the province isn't sure yet how significant the impact will be.
- with a report from CTV's Jeremy Hunka
- more information on highway closures is available online at:
- more flood information from the province is available online at:
- more flood information from the City of Winnipeg is available online at: