Major flood risk on Red River this spring: Manitoba flood forecast

By News Staff

Manitoba is warning of a “major risk” of flooding on the Red River this spring, according to the province’s March outlook.

The government says flood risk is low to moderate in the Interlake region along the Fisher and Icelandic rivers, and along the Assiniboine River.

Flood risk is low along many other rivers such as Pembina, Roseau, Rat and Souris. It’s also low for most Manitoba basins like the Saskatchewan River, Whiteshell lakes area and northern Manitoba.

The province does not believe flooding will overcome community dikes and diversions.

The Manitoba Hydrologic Forecast Centre believes the Red River is at highest risk due to heavy snowfall upstream in North Dakota.

It expects the Red River Floodway, which diverts rising water around Winnipeg, will be needed this spring.

The Portage Diversion near Portage la Prairie is also expected to be used.

WATCH: Early action encouraged to prevent spring sogginess in Manitoba

“The run-off potential is significantly affected by the amount of additional snow and spring rains, frost depth at the time of run-off… timing and rate of spring thaw, and the timing of peak flows in Manitoba, the United States, Saskatchewan and Ontario,” according to the government’s March flood report, which was released Wednesday.

“A late thaw and spring rainstorms could result in a rapid snow melt that increases overland flooding and flows on tributary streams and larger rivers.”

READ: Tips to prevent flooding in Winnipeg as soggy spring season approaches

The province says the potential for flooding could change, depending on weather conditions between now and the spring melt.

Workers have completed ice-cutting along the Red and Icelandic rivers to reduce the chance of ice jam-related flooding.

—With files from The Canadian Press

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