Manitoba says weather conditions, slow melt will mean low flood risk

WINNIPEG -- Manitoba says most of the province is at a relatively low risk for serious flooding this year but officials say that could change with heavy precipitation or a quick spring melt.

See Full Article

Flood forecaster Fisaha Unduche with Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation says there is less frost in the soil, which means the ground can absorb more melting snow and reduce runoff.

There is also less snow on the ground for now, he said.

"This is good news," Unduche said at the province's first flood forecast briefing Monday. "Ice thickness is also near normal to below normal, which is also good news."

The province has already started breaking up ice along the north Red River to prevent ice jams and overland flooding.

The Assiniboine River, which has been battered by flooding in recent years, is at moderate risk for flooding, Unduche said.

A recent report said defences along the Assiniboine River between Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg are weak and another flood in the region could cause up to $2 billion in damage if they fail.

In 2014, Manitoba declared a state of emergency and asked the military for sandbagging help when floodwaters poured into the Assiniboine River watershed from Saskatchewan.

The province was also battered by one of the worst floods in its history in 2011. Army reservists scrambled to help shore up weakened dikes and sandbag homes along the Assiniboine River.

Unduche said dikes along the river should be able to hold under the current forecast.

Steve Topping, the department's executive director of hydrologic forecasting and water management, said the province will continue to prepare for the worst-case scenario and hope for the best.

"This is one of the most favourable forecasts we've seen," he said. "But things can turn bad with a really bad outlier storm."

Manitoba voters are set to go to the polls in a provincial election April 19. Premier Greg Selinger said politics won't interfere if flood-fighting becomes necessary.

"We never stop governing, even in an election cycle," Selinger said at the briefing. "We would never let the election derail our first priority, which is the security of Manitobans, if a dangerous set of conditions rapidly materialized."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Parents, students speak out against Nova Scotia school closures

    Canada News CBC News
    In the dispute between Nova Scotia educators and the government, parents and students in the province are taking sides — with most opting to stand firmly with teachers. On Saturday, Education Minister Karen Casey announced public schools across the province would be closed to students Monday, deeming the teachers' planned work-to-rule job action "unsafe" for students. Source
  • Death toll of Oakland, Calif., fire rises to 33 [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    OAKLAND, Calif. — At least nine people died in a blaze that broke out during a party in a warehouse late Friday night in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to fire officials. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloche-Reed says at least another 13 people are unaccounted for as of Saturday morning. Source
  • Physician killed, neurosurgeon husband charged with murder: 'How could this all happen?'

    Canada News CBC News
    The last time Mike Sullivan saw his friends Elana Fric-Shamji and Mohammed Shamji for dinner, the Toronto couple — both respected physicians — filled the room with laughter and finished each other's sentences. It was their typical loving, supportive persona, both in life and online. Source
  • Dakota Access Pipeline construction halted near Standing Rock reservation

    World News CBC News
    Standing Rock protesters celebrated Sunday as news broke that construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline near their territory has been halted. Moria Kelley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency, said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the four-state, $3.8-billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Source
  • Standing Rock protesters celebrate 'big victory' as pipeline construction halted

    World News CBC News
    Standing Rock protesters celebrated Sunday as news broke that construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline near their territory has been halted. Moria Kelley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency, said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the four-state, $3.8-billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Source
  • Solving the legacy of indigenous sexual abuse: think globally, act nationally

    Canada News CTV News
    Fred Kejick Thomas remembers the exact day -- April 14, 2005 -- when he confronted the uncle who had sexually molested him out on a trap line when he was four years old. After years of being haunted by flashbacks and rage, Kejick Thomas asked police to accompany him on a visit to see his uncle, where he read a letter in Ojibwa to speak his truth. Source
  • Rebels in Aleppo must leave city or face 'inevitable death,' warns Syrian army

    World News CBC News
    The Syrian army on Sunday ordered rebels in Aleppo to leave the city or face "inevitable death," as a series of airstrikes on the neighbouring Idlib province killed at least 50 people, including several children. Aleppo shook from the sound of explosions throughout the day as pro-government forces, including foreign fighters dispatched from Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran, pounded the city's opposition neighbourhoods in the east. Source
  • Trump expands list of candidates to head State Department

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump is expanding his pool of candidates for secretary of state, raising a question about whether former CIA Director David Petraeus' guilty plea for leaking classified information disqualifies him to serve as the nation's top diplomat. Source
  • Miniature therapy horse on the mend after cougar mauling

    Canada News CTV News
    Six-year-old miniature horse, Rio, is finally healing after a vicious cougar mauling. Rio, a therapy horse, was attacked back in November at a farm in Maple Ride, B.C. The attack by a rare black cougar left him in critical condition, with deep puncture wounds to his face, head and throat. Source
  • Thousands protest corruption, support judiciary in Brazil

    World News CTV News
    RIO DE JANEIRO -- Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities across Brazil on Sunday to express disgust with public corruption and outrage at what they say are lawmakers' attempts to muzzle the judges and prosecutors pursuing those crimes. Source