There is now a major risk of flooding this spring along the Red River.

Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure's Hydrologic Forecast Centre adds the risk of flooding is low to moderate in most Manitoba basins. The spring flood risk will largely depend on weather conditions from now until the spring melt. 

At this time, the centre advises that due to recent precipitation events south of the border in the United States, the flood risk has increased to major on the Red River.

Under the normal and unfavourable weather scenarios, the Red River is forecast to exceed bankfull capacity from Emerson to Morris.

The province’s practice is to plan and prepare for the unfavourable future weather condition scenario, which is a weather scenario that would have a 1-in-10 chance of occurring from now until the spring run-off. Under that scenario, levels on the main stem of the Red River would be similar to 2020 from Emerson to Red River Floodway Inlet. Even under an unfavourable scenario, community dikes and individual flood protection works are higher than predicted peak levels.

The flood risk is low to moderate in the Interlake region along the Fisher and Icelandic rivers, and along the Assiniboine River. The risk of spring flooding is generally low along several other rivers including the Souris, Roseau, Rat and Pembina rivers. Water levels are expected to remain below community and individual flood protection levels.

There is also a low risk of flooding for most other Manitoba basins including the Saskatchewan River, Whiteshell lakes area and northern Manitoba. With the exceptions of Dauphin Lake and Lake St. Martin, most Manitoba lakes, including Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba, are projected to remain within operating ranges after the spring run-off.

As in many other years, the risk of flooding could change in any of the basins depending on weather conditions between now and the spring melt.

Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure, through a contract with Winnipeg Environmental Remediations Inc., has completed ice-cutting and breaking work along the Red and Icelandic rivers to reduce ice jam-related flooding. Ice-cutting and breaking work were not undertaken this spring on the Assiniboine River, along the Portage Diversion, due to a lower risk of ice jam-related flooding.

The centre also reports that operation of the Red River Floodway is expected this spring to reduce water levels within Winnipeg. Operation of the Portage Diversion is also anticipated to prevent ice jamming on the Assiniboine River east of Portage la Prairie and control river levels in Winnipeg and areas along the Assiniboine River downstream of Portage la Prairie.

The province, local authorities and First Nation communities are continuing to prepare for spring flooding. This includes ice-cutting and breaking on the Red and Icelandic rivers, review of existing emergency response plans, information sharing, and preparation of resources used in flood response.

Click here for the full flood report.


With files from Chris Sumner