News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

March 21, 2016

PROVINCE MONITORING ICE JAMS NEAR SELKIRK


Public Advised to Avoid Driving on Flooded Roads

The Hydrologic Forecast Centre of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation advises that normal seasonal daytime high temperatures near 0 C in southern Manitoba for the next seven to 10 days are slowing the spring run-off and snowmelt in most areas.  There is no significant precipitation forecast for any of Manitoba’s river basins during this period.

As the spring melt continues, all drivers are reminded to be cautious ‎when encountering water on a road as the depth can be deceiving.  Motorists are warned to avoid driving on a closed or flooded road.

In much of southern Manitoba most of the snowpack has melted and in many areas, including the Souris and Pembina rivers watersheds as well as tributaries of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, the majority of snowpack run-off is complete.  Streams have crested and are receding.  Over the weekend, there was some local overland flooding as well as flooding caused by frozen culverts or ice jamming of drains and small streams.

There is currently an ice jam on the Red River downstream of Selkirk, in the vicinity of Peltz Drive and McIvor Lane, causing levels to rise on the Red River.  The ice jam is caused by the narrow river channel in the area.  Officials are monitoring the situation and will consider use of the Amphibex ice breakers if conditions, including open water downstream, permit their usage.

The ice jam mitigation program was undertaken this winter, breaking a 24-kilometre channel through the ice on the Red River, with additional icebreaking work on the Brokenhead, Fisher and Icelandic rivers.

The icebreaking and ice-cutting equipment is operated and maintained by North Red Waterway Maintenance Inc., a corporation formed by the rural municipalities of St. Andrews and St. Clements, and the City of Selkirk.

The Red River crested in most locations in the Canadian portion of the river’s basin late March 18 and has remained relatively stable since then.  Ste. Agathe crested at approximately 28,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Levels on the Red River were high enough on the weekend for a small amount of water to flow into the floodway channel naturally, but the inlet control structure has not been operated and is not expected to be operated this year.

The Red River in Winnipeg also crested late March 18 at approximately 18.1 ft. at James Avenue due to ice jams.  The peak flow was approximately 43,000 cfs.

Flows on the Assiniboine River are being monitored closely and ice that is still in place on portions of the river is affecting water level readings at some stations.  Tributary flows to the river are generally dropping, although when temperatures increase significant run-off is still expected from the upper portions of the basin into Shellmouth Dam.  Flows at Brandon are expected to stay within the banks this year.  The Portage Diversion may be operated to manage ice conditions on the lower Assiniboine River.

Further north in the upper Assiniboine and Saskatchewan River basins, the snowpack remains intact and only a portion of run-off has taken place.

Up-to-date flood information can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/, on mobile devices at www.manitoba.ca/, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBGov or at 1-866-626-4862 (toll-free).

Up-to-date highway information is available at www.manitoba511.ca, on mobile devices at www.manitoba.ca/, highway closures on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBGovRoadsor by calling 511.

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