Red River Basin Commission predicting spring floods in 2017
Emad Agahi, CTV Winnipeg
Published Sunday, January 22, 2017 4:53PM CST
Last Updated Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:40PM CST
The ground is saturated, some rivers and lakes are full and the Red River Basin Commission is warning Manitobans living along the Red River to prepare for a flood season.
"We think there is a good possibility that we will see flooding,” said Steve Strang, the Manitoba Director of the Commission. “What level, it is hard to predict."
Strang explained that while heavy snowfall in the province so far this winter will play a small role, precipitation south and west of the Manitoba borders better indicates flood severity.
He explained that the water flows north. “We are at the bottom of the bowl and we're getting it all."
According to the Province of Manitoba, current data also supports a chance of moderate to major flooding in some locations.
The province said there are several other factors that contribute to spring flooding, some of which still need to see develop. These include:
- Winter snow and rain
- How much moisture was in the soil at freeze-up
- Spring rain – especially in April
- How fast the snow melts
- The depth of frost
- River and lake levels prior to spring runoff.
Rene Lagasse is a life-long resident of St. Adolphe. She says growing up situated along the Red River preparing for a possible flood was a yearly routine.
"As soon as the water started coming up, sand bagging started, knowing the water was coming close to our house,” Lagasse said.
Today, Lagasse and his neighbours are protected from rising water by a dyke, but as an evacuee of the 1997 flood, he knows to always keep an eye on flood forecasts each year.
"We always think, what is gonna happen, and how high the water comes," he said.