Flood Forecast for Saturday, Apr. 12
Published Sunday, April 12, 2009 3:10PM CST
An ice jam north of Selkirk wreaked havoc overnight Saturday, forcing the Red River over its banks and flooding dozens of homes. Meanwhile rising levels south of the city forced more road closures and some evacuations.
. A large emergency operation was required Sunday to rescue nine residents from the Breezy Point area. Rescue operations were co-ordinated by the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) with the RM of St. Andrews and the RCMP. Nine people were rescued at Breezy Point and there were no injuries. Everyone is out of the community now. An ice jam caused water levels to rise and ice flows damaged homes in the Breezy Point area.
Sunday morning, the RM of St. Andrews ordered a mandatory evacuation of all remaining residents. On Friday, the rural municipality had recommended residents evacuate from the Breezy Point area.
. Saturday night, residents in eight homes at Breezy Point decided to leave their homes voluntarily and were assisted by the RCMP, the RM of St. Andrews and the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC). At that time, an additional 10 homes were canvassed and residents refused to evacuate.
. In addition, the ice jam caused flooding the RM of St. Clements where 27 homes and 35 individuals on St. Peters Road N and Peltz Road were evacuated.
Several homes were flooded and the damage is being assessed. Evacuees have registered with the rural municipality and most went to stay with family and friends.
. In the Red River Valley, the town of Riverside near Morris is being evacuated due to rising water levels affecting road access.
. The Red Cross registration phone line is 1-888-662-3211 and operates 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. People being evacuated should register with the Red Cross by phone.
Safety Precautions in the Flood Zone
. Flood waters and floating ice can be extremely unpredictable and there are strong currents causing treacherous conditions. Stay off and away from rivers and creeks that are flooding and stay off ice along the shore or in the water.
Ice jams and breaking river ice have sheared off trees and pulled other shoreline debris into the river. To prevent serious accidents that could require significant emergency response, take the following precautions:
Boats, kayaks and canoes should not be in the water until waterways return to normal levels.
Do not move road barriers as the road is marked for closure to ensure safety and find an alternative route. Water levels can change quickly and roads have barriers for a reason. Driving on roads that are covered by water is not recommended.
Use extra caution in areas where work crews are present.
Red River Floodway
. Starting at 5:40 p.m. Saturdayday and overnight, adjustments were made to lower the floodway gates to switch over from operating with ice-influenced natural levels to operating with open-water natural levels.
. This operation normalized floodway operations to comply with the Environment Act licence for the floodway to keep natural levels south of the floodway inlet, except when emergency conditions exist in Winnipeg.
. The peak level from this operation will be close to the forecasted peak of 6.2 metres (20.5 feet) at James Avenue and will be experienced by late this afternoon. River levels are already falling in the south end of the city and are expected to decline in downtown Winnipeg to 5.6 m (18.5 ft.) by Sunday evening.
. Showers are expected Sundday with amounts of five millimetres likely. Rain is forecasted for Thursday with significant amounts possible. Mild temperatures are predicted until next Thursday.
City of Winnipeg
. Levels at James Avenue from Monday through the rest of this week will be in the 5.6 to 5.8 m (18.5 to 19 ft.) range unless heavy rain develops.
. The river may rise slightly later this week as the crest from Emerson arrives. However it is expected to remain below 5.6 m (18.5 ft.) for the remainder of this spring unless unusually heavy rain develops later in April.
Lockport to Breezy Point
. A serious ice jam developed overnight Saturday at a location 2.5 kilometres south of Netley Creek, also known as 'End-of-Main'. Record high levels are reported, with ice moving overland out of the river in some areas. Cottages and some homes in the area are flooded. It is expected the ice jam will move later today and levels will decline.
. Levels at the dock in Selkirk declined 0.43 m (1.4 ft.) since Saturday morning due to ice moving out north of the city. However the level at the PTH 4 bridge rose 0.37 m (1.2 ft.) due to ice conditions further north. Levels in the Selkirk area will decline slowly Sunday and then rise somewhat later this week. Previous crests will not be exceeded.
Emerson to St. Adolphe
. Crest forecasts are unchanged from Saturday except at Morris where the expected crest has been raised somewhat.
. Crests will be one day later with the crest now expected at Morris on Wednesday and at the floodway inlet next Saturday.
. Levels rose three centimetres (0.1 feet) at Emerson, and 0.21 m (0.7 feet) at Morris during the 24-hour period ending Sunday morning.
. Thursday's predicted rainfall could result in higher crests if amounts exceed 15 mm. Rainfall amounts for Thursday are still uncertain.
. Levels in the United States portion declined slightly from Halstad to Drayton but rose somewhat in the Fargo area.
. So far this spring, the Red River has risen 11.1 m (36.5 ft.) at Emerson, 9.7 m (31.7 ft.) at Morris and 9.1 m (30 ft.) at the floodway inlet.
. The water level upstream of the floodway inlet Sunday morning was 232.5 m (762.94 ft.), which is a significant decline from the maximum of 233.1 m (765 ft.) recorded Saturday. The flow into the Red River Floodway this morning was estimated at 29,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) of a total 81,600 cfs upstream of the floodway inlet.
. Minor flooding continues along the Assiniboine River from St. Lazare to Griswold. The crest is expected at Miniota Sunday. Additional rises of 0.3 to 0.6 m (one to two feet) are expected in the portion from Virden to Brandon with the crest later this week.
. Ice began to move in the PTH 34 area between Brandon and Portage la Prairie overnight Saturday. Moderate to high ice flows are expected to arrive at Portage la Prairie tomorrow.
. The Portage Diversion will be operated to divert most of the Assiniboine River crest but it is possible that up to 7,000 cfs might flow down the river toward Baie St. Paul for a short time. River flows will be reduced to 4,500 cfs as soon as possible to prevent serious ice jamming from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg.
. The flow on the Assiniboine River at Portage la Prairie was 8,440 cfs Sunday morning, of which 4,470 cfs was diverted into Lake Manitoba. The flow in the river downstream of the Portage Diversion was 3,970 cfs Sunday morning.
. Some flooding may occur on Assiniboine tributaries from Brandon to Birtle later this week.
Run-off in this area was not completed due to cold weather following a heavy March rainstorm.
. The outflow from Shellmouth Reservoir remains at 200 cfs. The water level of Shellmouth Reservoir rose 0.18 m (0.6 feet) since Saturday morning and stood at 423.9 m (1,391 ft.) Sunday morning. The level is expected to rise to 426.7 m (1,400 ft.) by the end of April.
. Levels of the Souris River continue to rise slowly, but the rate of rise will increase during the next 10 days. Over-bank flows have developed in the Coulter area and will develop in areas further north by late next week. A crest of 1999 proportions or higher is now expected at the end of April or in early May. Significant rainfall predicted for Thursday may result in even higher crests.
. Minor flooding is still anticipated in the Interlake region late this week following additional snowmelt. The flooding will be similar in magnitude to that of 2007. Some diking is underway at the Peguis First Nation and the community of Fisher River, where ice often causes water to back up and flood low-lying properties.
. Levels of the Pembina River remain relatively low but will increase next week following the significant snowmelt and rain. Flooding of the Pembina Valley from Rock Lake to La Rivi�re is anticipated but levels should be lower that those of 2006. No difficulties are expected in the Gretna area. Rock Lake was at 406.5 m (1,333.7 ft.) Sunday morning and is expected to crest near 407.5 m (1,337 ft.) about April 20.
. The flood potential for the Westlake area is quite low. Minor localized flooding may occur late next week.
. The flood potential remains low from Swan River to The Pas.
. Overland flooding has developed in many portions of the Red River Valley, especially in areas from the Red River east to the Ontario boundary and will continue until next week. Streams will subside by late this week unless significant rain develops. Minor over-bank flows may occur in low-lying areas of many streams even without rainfall.
. The provincial government has taken action to minimize overland flooding by steaming frozen culverts and opening blocked drains.
. Further details are provided below and specific forecasted crest stages are shown on the daily flood sheets issued by Manitoba Water Stewardship at:
. A partial closure of the ring dike at Dominion City is underway and the dike on the south side of Morris has been raised at the ramp. PTH 23 is also closed on the west side of Morris. Additional diking is underway at Ste. Agathe. A partial closure of the south dike at St. Jean Baptiste is also expected to proceed Sunday.
Partial ring dike closures are in place at Emerson, Letellier, St. Jean Baptiste, Morris and St. Adolphe.
. Road conditions are changing quickly, particularly as the snow melt continues this weekend. Check highway conditions before travelling at www.manitoba.ca or call 204-945-3704 or 1-877-627-6237.
. The Amphibex machines are stationed near Selkirk but are not in the water because of significant safety concerns related to ice and water flows.
. The province has 37 steamers to thaw frozen culverts and drains across southern Manitoba, particularly as the snowmelt begins.
. There are three Flood Liaison Offices in operation. They are open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and are located in Winnipeg (945-2354), Morris (204-746-7325) and Brandon (204-729-1220).