WINNIPEG – The second crest of the Assiniboine River is expected to be as high as the first and reach the Portage Diversion, just west of Portage la Prairie, sometime Tuesday to Thursday.
The Manitoba Water Stewardship branch’s latest flood update was broadcast live on this webpage.
River flows are expected to peak at 52,000 to 53,000 cubic feet per second, according to the flood forecast issued by the province Sunday. The first crest was 52,100 cfs when it reached the Portage Diversion on Wednesday.
“It’s likely to be at this crest level for a long duration,” Steve Topping of Manitoba Water Stewardship said Monday. The crest could stay at peak level right through Tuesday to Thursday, he said.
Transportation and Infrastructure deputy minister Doug McNeil issued a plea Monday for drivers, particularly truckers, to abide by weight restrictions the province has placed on many bridges across the province.
Some truckers aren’t abiding by the restrictions and they’re endangering the bridges, McNeil said.
“We’re quite concerned about that,” he said. “Please abide by these. Otherwise we’ll lose the bridges.”
On Sunday, an evacuation of Twin Lakes Beach on Lake Manitoba, near the outlet of the Portage Diversion, was cancelled hours after it was issued.
Evacuation notices went out to six properties at Twin Lakes Beach at about 5 p.m. when waves pushed by strong winds breached flood defences in the Lake Manitoba community, said Jeff Douglas of the residents association.
Pumps and heavy equipment were brought in to rebuild the dikes and pump out water that was washing over the road, he said.
The notices were cancelled when winds died down around 8 p.m., Douglas said.
The community will be using supersandbags – huge sandbags used for flood defence – to refortify and increase the height of the area’s dikes on Monday, he said.
“The lake is so high properties don’t have sufficient protection,” he said Monday morning.
The water is level with properties in the area, he said.
Twin Lakes Beach has Lake Manitoba on one side and a lagoon on the other, making it particularly vulnerable to flooding.
Water levels on Lake Manitoba are high due to flooding and the use of the Portage Diversion, which has been sending almost two-thirds of the water from the swollen Assiniboine River north to the lake.
The Assiniboine’s second crest is expected to keep water high for a few days before receding. The Portage Diversion, which handles two-thirds of that flow, is prepared to handle up to 35,000 cfs, the province said Sunday. The Assiniboine River will carry 18,000 cfs east towards Winnipeg.
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