July 11, 2014 1:08 pm

Damage ‘at least $200M’ in Manitoba flood, premier says

WATCH: Aerial view of Assiniboine River floodwaters west of Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – It will cost “at least $200 million and rising” to repair the damage to bridges and roads inflicted by the Assiniboine River flood, Premier Greg Selinger says.

Selinger made the comment at a Friday news conference live streamed on this page.

That total does not include agricultural losses, Selinger said.

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Dikes continued to hold as the Assiniboine River started to level off at Baie St. Paul, Man., according to data from a hydrometric gauge at the midway point between Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg. It is unlikely flood fighters will have to create an emergency outlet onto private property at the Hoop and Holler Bend, although officials left the option open.

Data from the Baie St. Paul gauge – which the federal government warns isn’t monitored and can provide inaccurate data – shows the water level still rising on Friday morning, but more slowly than earlier in the week. A gauge downstream at Headingley, Man., still shows a steeper rise in water levels.

The Assiniboine River at Route 90 in Winnipeg is expected to rise another foot, provincial officials said Friday.

READ MORE: What’s to blame for Manitoba flood? Loss of wetlands, for one

The military was out overnight sandbagging culverts in the rural municipality of Cartier where water was pushing through onto people’s property, military spokesman Mike Lagace said.

The military is winding down its operations in the area from 500 to 70 soldiers who will provide rapid response to any unforeseen emergency, a news conference was told Friday.

WATCH: Randy Hull talks about how the City of Winnipeg is preparing for Assiniboine River floodwaters

While sandbags are protecting homes in rural areas, the City of Winnipeg said it’s not concerned about flood damage.

The main risk in the city is a heavy rainfall because the city has closed drains into the river, said Randy Hull, the city’s emergency co-ordinator.

“Right now, we’re in protection mode for the city of Winnipeg,” Hull said. “Everybody needs to do their part: downspouts away from the house, have drainage slope away from the house.”

WATCH: Global’s Vassy Kapelos has the latest on the progress of the crest headed for Winnipeg

Communities upstream, near the Saskatchewan border, are dealing with a second crest that hit St. Lazare, Man., on Wednesday night.

The Assiniboine and Qu’Appelle rivers meet at the village near the Saskatchewan border, which has a ring dike, but homes outside the dike were already damaged after the first crest.

Brandon, Man., tweeted Friday morning that the water level there was actually higher than the first crest on July 6.

Peak flows at Brandon are expected to hit 2011 flood levels sometime between today and Sunday, Friday’s provincial flood report said.

The crest has reached Miniota and the river is expected to stay at or near that level for a day or two.

IN PHOTOS: Manitoba’s rising waters

Lake Manitoba is expected to crest at 814.6 feet in early August, the province said. A flood map on the provincial flood website, which does not take wind into consideration, shows possible flood scenarios around Lake Manitoba.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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