Archived News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

May 16, 2011

Flood Bulletin #50

Flood Response

Controlled Release

  • The controlled release is flowing at a rate of approximately 400 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Homes in the possible path of the water have flood-protection systems in place.  Based on the current forecast flows on the Assiniboine River, the operational plan is for flows from the release to be kept to less than 500 cfs today and tomorrow.  The controlled release flow from the Assiniboine River will likely not exceed 1,000 cfs in the coming days.
  • Provincial crews, supported by Canadian Forces personnel, are moving ahead of the water and ensuring protection is in place.
  • Assiniboine River flows into the Portage Reservoir are forecast to crest around May 17 and 18 between 52,000 and 52,500 cfs.  High flows are expected to be sustained for two to three days beyond the crest and then slowly subside by approximately 500 cfs per day. 
  • The controlled release is assisting in maintaining safe flows at the Portage Diversion and along the Assiniboine River dikes.
  • So far, three homes have been surrounded by water and sandbag, earth and flood-tube dikes continue to hold.
  • Flows from the controlled release at the Hoop and Holler Bend have entered the Elm River, as expected.  Flows have proceeded overland slowly, south and east of the release point and overflowed mile road 32W, covering an area of 2.1 square kilometres.  Flows are expected to continue travelling overland in an east direction through the Elm River, pool between roadways and then continue towards the Elm River channel, the Elm River relief channel and then the La Salle River.  At the current flow rate, it is now estimated that much of the flow from the controlled release will remain within or to the north of the Elm River channel until approximately 1.6 km west of the La Salle River.
  • Flows from the controlled release will enter the La Salle River 3.2 km south (downstream) of Elie.  With flows through the controlled release around 1,000 cfs, levels in the La Salle River at Elie will be slightly elevated, with minor backwatering south of Elie.  Water will reach the communities of La Salle, Sanford and Starbuck after Elie.
  • The capacity of the La Salle River near the communities of La Salle, Sanford and Starbuck is generally in the order of 4,000 cfs and slightly higher in downstream reaches.  Approximately
    300 cfs is flowing in the La Salle River system at Sanford today. 
  • The Manitoba government is developing a comprehensive compensation program for homeowners and producers.
  • A provincial call centre is in place and making regular contact with residents in the area affected by the controlled release.  Residents are being provided information about the release, potential water levels for their homes and the area, and where to access additional information.  In addition, door-to-door teams are working in the area.  Residents can also call 204-945-7200.
  • Warm, dry weather is assisting with efforts to reinforce and strengthen the Assiniboine River dikes between Portage la Prairie and Headingley.  The dikes have been stressed by high river flows, prolonged wet weather and the effects of a major ice jam in mid-April.  Flows through the Portage Diversion structures are also being closely monitored.
  • It has been seven days since the provincial state of emergency was declared. 


  • The Assiniboine River is near peak in Brandon today.  The city dikes and the provincial super sandbag dikes are being closely monitored and continue to hold.
  • Crews are continuing to work on First Street and may partially open this route later in the week.

Other Areas

  • Close to 70 seasonal provincial staff have been sent to the RM of St. Laurent to assist with flood fighting.  A provincial sandbag machine in the RM is producing approximately 15,000 sandbags each day to support the installation of sandbag dikes.
  • The RM of Ritchot has also offered the RM of St. Laurent 200,000 empty sandbags to support flood fighting.
  • PTH 75 is expected to open tomorrow morning around Morris.  It closed on April 18 and was closed for 29 days.  In 2009, PTH 75 was closed for 36 days.
  • Partial ring dikes closures in the Red River valley south of Morris will be removed over the next few days.
  • More than 500 volunteers from non-government organizations such as the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service have been supporting the flood effort in communities across the province.
  • There are 1,500 Canadian Forces soldiers and reservists flood fighting in Manitoba.
  • There are 3,623 Manitobans evacuated from their homes.  People who have been evacuated are encouraged to register with the Red Cross at 1-888-662-3211 or register at reception centres set up in Brandon and Portage la Prairie.
  • There are 113 provincial roads affected by flooding, with 67 closed.  Approximately 768 municipal roads are closed. 

Flood Forecast Summary

  • Flood warnings have been issued for the Assiniboine River at all points downstream of the Shellmouth Dam; streams and rivers in the Dauphin Lake Basin; streams and rivers east of the Duck Mountains; the Souris River from Melita and all downstream reaches; Pipestone Creek, all reaches; Oak Lake and Plum Lakes; Plum Creek to the Souris River (including the town of Souris); and the Qu’Appelle River in the St-Lazare area.
  • A high water advisory has been issued for all major lakes in Manitoba and the community of Red Deer Lake.

Assiniboine River

  • Water levels on the Shellmouth Reservoir were 1,414.10 ft., decreasing 0.10 ft. since yesterday.  Inflows into the Shellmouth Reservoir have decreased to 9,345 cfs, and outflow decreased to 10,150 cfs.  Outflows from the Shellmouth Dam will be increased to 11,000 cfs to bring water levels below spillway elevation in the coming weeks.  It is important to have reservoir storage for late spring run-off or early summer precipitation events to minimize flooding on surrounding agricultural lands, residences and downstream communities.
  • Water levels on the Qu’Appelle River at Welby decreased 0.13 ft. since yesterday to 17.75 ft.  Flows on the Qu’Appelle River were estimated at 9,800 cfs today.  Flows on all tributaries of the Assiniboine River are decreasing.
  • Water levels at St-Lazare are 1,289.24 ft., a decrease of 0.37 ft.
  • Water levels at Sioux Valley were 1,203.75 ft., decreasing 0.25 ft. since yesterday.  Dikes at the Sioux Valley First Nation are providing flood protection to 1,207 ft. 
  • Water levels on the Assiniboine River at the First Street Bridge in Brandon were 1,182.71 ft., a decrease of 0.18 ft. since yesterday.  Flows at the First Street Bridge in Brandon were 37,100 cfs, measured this morning.  Flows on the Assiniboine River are cresting in Brandon; however, it is estimated that flows on the Assiniboine River at Brandon will be sustained above 20,000 cfs for approximately two weeks.
  • Inflow upstream of Portage la Prairie is 51,400 cfs.  Flows in the Portage Diversion channel this morning were at 32,900 cfs.  Flows on the Assiniboine River at the Portage Reservoir control gates were 18,500 cfs.
  • Water levels in the Baie St. Paul area are 799.93 ft., a decrease of 0.06 ft. and a flow of
    18,500 cfs.   Water levels at Lido Plage are 780.38 ft.

 Red River

  • Water levels just upstream of the Red River floodway inlet decreased 0.4 ft. since yesterday to 761.96 ft, with flows of 60,800 cfs.  Flows in the floodway channel are approximately 27,600 cfs.  Red River flows upstream of the floodway inlet continue to decrease by about 2,000 cfs per day.
  • Water levels on the Red River at James Avenue in Winnipeg have decreased 0.26 ft since yesterday to 18.13 ft.  Flows at James Avenue this morning were approximately 52,400 cfs. 
  • The La Salle River is a tributary which flows into the Red River downstream of the floodway inlet.  It is anticipated the arrival of the additional flows from the La Salle River will not increase the water level at James Avenue.  Levels at James Avenue and upstream of the floodway inlet will continue to decline.  However, this recession will be slowed by the increased flows from the La Salle River. 

Souris River

  • Water levels at Melita were 1,409.98 ft. today, increasing 0.03 ft. since yesterday. 
  • Flows on Pipestone Creek have increased to 4,320 cfs and will crest for a third time.  Run-off from recent rains has contributed to these high flows.  Water levels in Oak Lake are 1,412.17 ft.  Water levels on Plum Creek have decreased by 0.09 ft. since yesterday to 1,377.26 ft, with an increased flow of 3,160 cfs.  These high flows will be sustained for a significant period of time due to the high levels of the Plum and Oak lakes. 
  • The Souris River at Wawanesa is estimated near crest at 15,000 cfs today with a water level of 1,156.37 ft. 


  • The south winds will help reduce wind setup and wave action along the southern boundary of Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg and Dauphin Lake.  Winds for Pelican/Rock Lake, Oak Lake and the Shoal lakes will be southeast 30 to 35 km/h today.
  • The forecast for Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin has been revised.  The revised forecast peak for Lake Manitoba is now 815.79 ft., increased from the previous forecast by 0.19 ft.  The revised forecast for Lake St. Martin is 805 ft., decreased from the previous forecast by 0.2 ft. due to modelling refinements.
  • Lake levels have reached flood stage at Dauphin and Oak lakes and Lake Manitoba.  Lake St. Martin, Pelican and Red Deer lakes are approaching flood stage.  Lakes Winnipeg, Pineimuta, and Francis, North, East and West Shoal Lakes, Dennis and Fish lakes, and other lakes throughout the Interlake and southcentral part of Manitoba are experiencing very high water levels.
  • Due to high water levels, Manitoba Water Stewardship has created inundation maps illustrating the forecast high water levels for all areas around Lake Manitoba.  Two sets of maps are or will shortly be available that illustrate wind-eliminated and winds setup (for 60 km/h sustained winds, from directions which would result in maximum set up) for the following areas:  Alonsa, Coldwell, the Crane River First Nation, the Dog Creek First Nation, the Ebb and Flow First Nation, Eriksdale, Grahamdale, Lakeview, Portage la Prairie, the Sandy Bay First Nation, Siglunes, St. Laurent, Westbourne, Woodlands and the unorganized territory on the north end of Lake Manitoba
  • Manitoba Water Stewardship is creating more maps for the Lake St. Martin and Lake Pineimuta area that will be made available this week.

For more information, see  The most up-to-date highway information is at or 1-877-MBRoads (1-877-627-6237) and on Twitter by following @MBGov.

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