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Manitoba’s flood forecast says Red River could exceed 2009 levels

Water levels continue to rise across Manitoba, with higher-than-average flooding in the forecast.
Water levels continue to rise across Manitoba, with higher-than-average flooding in the forecast. Michael Draven / Global News / File

According to the province’s latest flood outlook, released Monday afternoon, Manitoba is likely to see a Red River flood higher than 2009 levels this spring.

The forecast, from the Hydrologic Forecast Centre of Manitoba, said the heavy snows that have fallen in the northern U.S. are contributing the potential for higher-than-usual levels of flooding.

Flood water levels, said the report, are dependent on the rate of snow melt and how much snow and rain accumulates over the next few weeks – but the Red River and its tributaries are expected to see substantial flooding, while the Assiniboine River system will see limited flooding.

READ MORE: North Dakota flood forecast rises, small chance of surpassing 1997 flood levels

At this stage, the forecast suggests that the Red will rise to 2011 flood levels with favourable weather, but if the province sees unfavourable conditions in the coming weeks, the potential is for flooding to increase by almost a foot at Emerson, 1.5 feet near Ste. Agathe, and will reach 22.5 feet at James Avenue in Winnipeg.

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The province said it’s currently working with municipal governments, as well as the federal government, to ensure the safety of people in the region. These preparations include closing community ring dikes, road closures, and acquiring more flood protection equipment.

Regular flood updates will continue to be issued by the province leading up to the spring.

WATCH: Manitoba flood forecast warns of potential ice jams

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Manitoba flood forecast warns of potential ice jams – Feb 28, 2019