News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

April 30, 2014

FLOOD BULLETIN #24



Summary

Birdtail Creek

  • At approximately 12:30 a.m., ice that had blocked the culvert at the base of a former railway embankment near Birtle released.  The embankment has remained in place and water is flowing through the culvert freely.
  • The embankment is not owned by the province and is not flood protection infrastructure.
  • As of approximately 7 a.m., water levels had dropped to normal levels behind the embankment.
  • As expected, the water flowed over some roads in the area including PTH 45 near the Waywayseecappo First Nation.  The water has now stopped flowing over the highway.
  • Based on the rate of release, the water is expected to increase by approximately three feet this afternoon in Birtle.
  • The Waywayseecappo First Nation and provincial crews completed dikes along PTH 45 last night to prevent water from affecting critical infrastructure.
  • Reports indicate minimal damage in the community due to the water surge.  Assessments are underway.
  • Dikes have been completed around the Birtle water plant and lift station, and the Centre Street Bridge has been weighted down to mitigate the effects of the surge.
  • The RM of Rossburn has reported no damage was sustained from the water released from the box culvert.
  • Initial assessments to critical electrical and telecommunications infrastructure show no issues at this time.
  • The Waywayseecappo First Nation, the Birdtail Sioux First Nation, the rural municipalities of Birtle, Rossburn and Miniota, and the Town of Birtle all have plans in place and have taken steps to prepare, including protecting infrastructure and evacuating residents from low-lying areas.
  • Provincial officials are working with municipalities to ensure municipal roads and provincial highways affected by the flows are monitored.
  • The effectiveness of the controlled breach that prevented the failure of the embankment while the culvert cleared, and the rapid flood protection deployment in downstream communities was possible through exceptional dedication and coordination of on-the-ground staff and volunteers from six jurisdictions.

Warnings and Advisories

  • Flood warnings are in place for:
    • all points along Birdtail Creek from PTH 45 downstream, as ice in the culverts released early this morning and a surge of water is moving quickly down the Birdtail Creek; and
    • the Assiniboine River from Shellmouth Dam to Brandon, due to high flows.
  • A flood watch is in place for Brereton Lake in the Whiteshell Provincial Park.
    • High water advisories are in place for:
    • all points along the Pipestone Creek and in the watershed, due to high flows;
    • all points along the Fisher River, due to high flows; and
    • all points along the Little Saskatchewan River, due to high flows.

Emergency Response

  • States of local emergency continue in the rural municipalities of Westbourne, Hillsburg, Birtle and Rossburn, and the towns of Roblin and Birtle.
  • Municipalities will begin to lift evacuation orders as the crest moves through the Birdtail River.
  • The province has deployed flood-fighting and mitigation equipment strategically across the province.  Regional staff are supervising and monitoring water levels in affected areas.

Red River

  • Water levels and flows on the Red River and on most tributaries in Manitoba are declining.
  • The U.S. portion of the Red River is rising due to recent precipitation.  A flood warning was continued at Fargo and a flood watch is continued for the Red River at Grand Forks.
  • With normal precipitation, flows are expected to be well within the banks by the time it reaches Manitoba.

Roseau River

  • The Roseau River is dropping in the U.S. portion of the river, but slowly rising at Gardenton and Dominion City.  Water levels are expected to stay well within bank.

Pembina River

  • The recent rainfall caused water levels and flows throughout the watershed to rise.  All streams are expected to remain within bank. 

Assiniboine River

  • The water level on the Shellmouth Reservoir has increased to 1,406.2 feet; the summer target level is 1,402.5 ft. and the spillway is at 1,408.5 ft.
  • Inflows to the reservoir are approximately 10,780 cubic feet per second (cfs) and outflows are at 5,040 cfs.  
  • Provincial officials and the Shellmouth Operation Liaison Committee (with representation from municipalities and conservation districts on the reservoir and downstream of the Shellmouth Reservoir) approved increasing outflows from the Shellmouth Reservoir to hit a target outflow of 5,000 cfs.
  • This operation is in keeping with the guidelines specific for each season.  In the spring, the guidelines call for outflows to be increased to keep reservoir levels below the spillway, if possible.
  • Water levels on the Assiniboine River are over the banks from the Shellmouth Reservoir to Brandon.
  • As of this morning, flow on the Portage Diversion is 6,031 cfs and flow on the Assiniboine River downstream of the diversion is 8,000 cfs.

Interlake Region

  • The Fisher River is under a flood watch as flows are dropping but remain high.  Flows this morning on the Fisher River dropped to 1,580 cfs near Dallas.
  • The Fairford Water Control Structure is being operated at the maximum possible discharge.  The outflow from Lake Manitoba is approximately 4,990 cfs.

Parkland Region

  • In general, most streams in the region are stable or dropping, and all streams are expected to remain within bank.
  • Dauphin Lake is at 856.2 ft. (above the desired level) and rising due to high inflows.  The ice remains solid at this time and conditions are being monitored.

Eastern Region

  • A flood watch has been issued for Brereton Lake in Whiteshell Provincial Park.
  • The lake level is high but is being regulated by operating the control structure on the lake.
  • There is potential for flooding to develop on the lake itself and downstream.  Conditions are being monitored regularly.
  • Streams in the region are relatively stable and reported to be within bank.

The Pas and Northern Manitoba

  • The Saskatchewan, Carrot, and Red Deer rivers are continuing to rise.  Conditions are being monitored regularly.
  • The crest on the Saskatchewan River at The Pas is expected May 7 to 14 at 854.3 to 855.8 ft.

Spring Safety

  • People are encouraged to stay back and well away from flood-fighting work for their own safety and the safety of crews on the site.
  • This includes avoiding areas where heavy equipment is operating and moving out of the way to support flood-fighting efforts.
  • People are reminded:
    • to be watchful of local waterways as flood conditions can develop quickly and ice conditions may be unsafe,
    • to avoid crossing areas with broken ice and surface water,
    • not to drive or walk through fast-moving water, and
    • to call 511 to check road conditions before travelling.

Questions or concerns about flooding or water management should be directed first to the municipal authority.  Anyone with questions about water levels, provincial waterways or provincial water control infrastructure can call 204-945-8373 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., seven days a week.

Up-to-date flood information can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/, on mobile devices at www.manitoba.ca or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBGov.

Up-to-date road information is available at www.mb511.ca, on mobile devices at www.manitoba.ca, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBGovRoads or by calling 511.

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