High water advisory after storms sweep southern Manitoba, more rain expected

Farmers' field in Morris, Manitoba following record breaking rainfall numbers this season. Rolf Penner

After multiple storms swept across Manitoba, the province is issuing a high water advisory for the Red River.

Officials says the river should remain within its banks, but will continue to rise over the next four to six days between Emerson and Winnipeg.

In the meantime, more than 100 people in western Manitoba have been evacuated due to flooding and livestock was moved in the RMs of Riverdale and Whitehead.

According to the province, parts of Westman received record precipitation last week and while water levels are declining at the Rivers’ dam, the situation is still being monitored very closely.

Farmers will need to brace for more rain over the weekend.

Growers in the Westman area of the province are experiencing big-time crop damage, according to agriculture reporter Harry Siemens.

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Speaking on 680 CJOB, Siemens said one farmer has already lost 10 per cent of his crop, including 250 acres of canola, 100 acres of wheat, 25 acres of peas and some oats.

“Every farm is different, but with these amounts of rain there will be damage in general,” Siemens said.

Some farmers are still waiting to assess the damage according to Siemens, with no access to their fields due to overland flooding.

Click to play video: 'Record rain floods southern Manitoba'
Record rain floods southern Manitoba

He said there is some hope for crops to recover and adds it’s a good thing the heat warning has gone away for now in order to give farmers a fighting chance.

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“The less heat on some of those crops that are trying to recover, the better,” said Siemens.

Environment Canada told 680 CJOB a line of thunderstorms, some severe, were expected around Brandon Saturday morning.

Winnipeg will likely see that storm roll through later in the day with even more rain expected over the weekend, putting an end to the days-long heat warnings.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba’s Heat Wave'
Manitoba’s Heat Wave

Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest said luckily the thunderstorms Saturday morning were short-lived, but he’s had enough of the rain.

“No household infrastructure is designed to take that kind of surge and as a result, we have a lot of people who have water issues,” said Chrest.

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He adds the city crushed the previous record of 102 mm of rainfall when they saw 155 mm last week.

The mayor said the river dam is still operating well above its designed capacity, so everyone needs to stay vigilant before that threat passes.

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