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Manitoba updates flood forecast, says it's ready to make changes due to pandemic
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2020 4:15PM CST
The Red River on Oct. 20, 2019, in Winnipeg.
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government is forecasting the province will avoid major flooding if there is no major early April storm bringing in snow or rain.
Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler provided an update on the province’s flood forecast Tuesday afternoon, noting the forecast remains similar to the province’s outlook in February.
“Forecasters expect an inflow of water from the United States, that would be the northern United States,” Schuler told reporters during a teleconference. “And they expect similar water levels to last spring, as long as the weather cooperates.”
Schuler said average conditions would result in similar water levels as 2006 on the Red River, but unfavourable weather could create a flooding situation similar to what the province saw in 2011.
Schuler added there are contingency plans in place if the spring thaw requires sandbagging and other water management.
“It will involve things like social distancing, making sure that there’s one individual who’s identified with making sure all the surfaces are clean, the gloves, but that will be coming shortly,” he said.
Schuler says Manitoba infrastructure is also easing spring road restrictions to allow essential supplies to be transported during the pandemic, such as groceries, medical supplies, fuel, potable water, and Canada Post delivery.
“A vehicle may transport essential goods and normal loading weight on roads that are typically restricted during the spring thaw, under certain conditions
Manitoba's hydrologic forecast centre is reporting water levels like last year when the Red River Floodway was put into service but Highway 75, which runs from Winnipeg to the United States border, remained open.
-With files from the Canadian Press