Advertisement

Inspection of Manitoba’s Rivers Dam possible in coming weeks, province says

Water flows through the Rivers Dam and down the Little Saskatchewan River in Manitoba Sunday, July 1, 2020.
Water flows through the Rivers Dam and down the Little Saskatchewan River in Manitoba Sunday, July 1, 2020. Steve Marvin/Submitted

Water levels at the Rivers Dam are now at the crest of the spillway and engineers should be able to have a deep look a the structure later this month, Manitoba Infrastructure says.

The province lost confidence in the 60-year old dam, about 220 km west of Winnipeg, at the beginning of July after the area saw over 200 millimeters of rain in the matter of days, which prompted some residents to be evacuated for weeks, but most have since returned.

Read more: Water levels drop at Manitoba’s Rivers Dam, but province warns more rain coming

The water flows from Lake Wahtopanah and the Little Saskatchewan River at the dam hit more than 12,000 cubic feet per second during the heavy rains, which exceeded 2011 flood levels, the province has said.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video 'Sixty-year-old Rivers Dam at highest level ever' Sixty-year-old Rivers Dam at highest level ever
Sixty-year-old Rivers Dam at highest level ever – Jul 2, 2020

At  the time Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said the dam faced a one-in-1,000-year flood event, and if it failed, everything in its path would have been be at risk.

Officials now say levels are now at the crest of the spillway — though a thick layer of algae is preventing a detailed inspection.

Read more: Minnedosa and nearby RM of Minto-Odanah declare states of emergency

They expect the inspection, which will include a look at the concrete walls, slabs and joints, can be done in two weeks after the dam can be cleaned.

Some rain is expected in the area over the next week, the province said, but officials are not expecting it to have an impact on water levels.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video 'Water rushes through Manitoba’s Rivers Dam' Water rushes through Manitoba’s Rivers Dam
Water rushes through Manitoba’s Rivers Dam – Jul 2, 2020