North Dakota braces for major snow storm expected to impact Manitoba flood forecast
Jeremie Charron, CTV Winnipeg
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019 1:37PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 13, 2019 6:08PM CST
The city of Grand Forks, North Dakota, is bracing for a major snow storm expected to bring high wind gusts, snow and rain starting Wednesday evening.
Grand Forks business owner Henry Howe is on storm watch. For him, that means scaling snowbanks and clearing everything he can before the storm hits.
“I’m trying to reduce the top of the snow pile so more of it will melt. Especially if you get at it with a little bit of an angle,” said Howe.
Howe has lived in Grand Forks for 30 years and said this winter has been memorable for all the wrong reasons.
The National Weather Service said a storm system is expected to bring 20 to 30 centimetres of snow to Grand Forks between Wednesday night and Friday Morning, along with high winds gusting up to 96 km/h. The snow is expected to impact the updated flood forecast for North Dakota.
“Already looking at the storm that happened this past weekend and what it added. And now what we have coming up with this storm,” said Greg Gust, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
In Manitoba, the same storm system is expected to bring 10 to 20 centimetres of snow to communities in the southeast that are under a snowfall warning from Environment Canada, while Winnipeg and other communities on the edge of the system’s path are under a blowing snow advisory and could get anywhere from trace amounts of snow to 10 centimetres.
The province’s latest flood outlook already put the Red River Valley north of the border at high risk of major flooding this year and the weather system moving up through North Dakota is expected to make it worse.
“We have more soup if the system that’s heading north towards Winnipeg. And this storm is going to add a bunch more to that,” said Gust.
The province says with normal weather conditions water levels on the Red River south of the floodway are expected to reach near to 2011 flood levels. Late season snow, spring rains and a more rapid snow melt could bring levels closer to 2009, which saw extended road closures on Highway 75 and evacuations in some areas.
“Certainly floods are very inconvenient and they have a real impact on local businesses,” said Scott Crick, mayor of Morris.
Officials in Morris are concerned about possible highway closures and are monitoring the weather in North Dakota.
“Certainly with the flood forecast and the weather events in the US this week we will be wanting to watch that closely,” said Mayor Crick.
The province will be monitoring the weather in North Dakota through this latest storm. Manitoba’s next flood outlook will provide an updated forecast for flooding along the Red River Valley this season.
-With files from CTV’s Gabrielle Marchand