Red River Valley flood warning issued as Colorado low moves through province

Winnipeg's Transcona area experiences overland flooding on April 23, 2022. As of Sunday afternoon, the Colorado low had dumped about 65 millimetres of rain on the city since Friday. Lauren McNabb / Global News

A flood warning is in place for the Red River Valley from Emerson to the floodway inlet south of Winnipeg, the province announced Sunday afternoon.

This as southern Manitoba deals with flooded basements and roads, while western parts of the province navigate power outages as a second Colorado low rattles the province.

Winnipeggers are reporting collapsed basement walls and sump pumps that can’t keep up with incoming water.

“(The Colorado low) kind of stalled overnight, and it just kind of kept bringing curtains of rain and snow to southern Manitoba,” Environment Canada meteorologist Dave Carlson told 680 CJOB Sunday.

“But it has now started its trek eastward, and so over the course of the day, we should expect things to calm down somewhat.”

A truck drives past a flooded car in Elmwood – East Kildonan on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Matt Purchase / Global News

As of Sunday afternoon, The Forks had gotten 65 millimetres of rain since the storm began Friday, Carlson said.

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Altona recorded 73 millimetres, with St. Adolphe receiving 67 millimetres, he said.

“It was really concentrated here in the Red River Valley, and I think that was mostly because we saw those pretty good thunderstorms yesterday, and those tend to bring a lot of rain in a short period of time,” Carlson said.

Winnipeg police continues to ask drivers to take caution on the roads.

“A little bit of pre-planning is always a good bet,” WPS Const. Claude Chancy told Global News.

The service is reporting large areas of standing water and a major sinkhole on Route 90 near Dublin Ave. and Notre Dame Ave. that’s forced a partial closure of the roadway.

The Henderson Highway underpass at the Perimeter Highway is also closed Sunday morning due to standing water.

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Winnipeg — along with much of southeastern Manitoba — remained under a rainfall warning, as of early Sunday evening.

The river level at the James Avenue gauge was 17.84 feet as of 4:58 p.m., the city’s website said.

Peak levels at the Red River Floodway inlet are anticipated between May 5 and 9, a Sunday afternoon city release said.

City crews are clearing catch basins, culverts and ditches of debris to facilitate draining, the city said in the release.

Winnipeggers expecting or experiencing overland flooding can pick up sandbags at the following locations:

  • 1220 Pacific Ave.
  • 1090 Thomas Ave.
  • 1539 Waverley St. at the visitor parking lot, next to the recycling bins.

“Residents must bring identification to demonstrate that they live in Winnipeg,” the release stated.

In the Portage la Prairie area, a rare wind warning — with potential gusts of up to 90 km/h — had been lifted by early Sunday evening.

Westman continues to be rife with highway closures and power outages brought on by heavy wet snow.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, there were under 900 Manitoba Hydro power outages affecting more than 20,000 customers, up from more than 15,000 around 8:30 a.m.

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The affected areas include the Dauphin area, east of Riding Mountain National Park, the Morden area, along with southwestern parts of Manitoba near the Saskatchewan border.

“It’s significant,” Manitoba Hydro’s Bruce Owen said. “We’re trying to get to them as quickly as we can, but you just have to look out the window and know that the going is just a little slow.”

“One of the challenges we have besides the weather are the road conditions.”

Manitoba Hydro is mainly working to get ice off power lines that are being weighed down, Owen said. However, crews are also seeing downed trees and snapped poles. At least one was struck by lightning over the weekend.

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Owen is asking for patience as repairs could take hours to days for some people living in more rural areas.

Overland flood warnings are ongoing in areas of southern Manitoba south of the Trans-Canada Highway running all the way east to Provincial Trunk Highway 12.

Other parts north of the Trans-Canada — like southeast of Neepawa as well as between Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg — are also under an overland flood warning.

The province has also issued a high water advisory for the Whiteshell lakes area.

Weather to come

The Colorado low that’s battering the province is slowly moving eastward Sunday afternoon and into the evening, pulling any more precipitation with it, Carlson said.

Rain switched to snow Sunday in Winnipeg, melting mostly on the rain that already fell, he said.

“It’s really just going to be a blustery, dreary kind of day,” Carlson said, adding the rest of the week is looking calmer.

“I don’t know that there are going to be any more big systems like we’ve seen, but I can’t completely rule it out, because this is the time of year when we tend to get these really powerful systems come through,” he said.

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“We’re not out of the woods.”

On Saturday, the province re-opened the Red River Floodway to mitigate risk inside city limits.

Read more: Province to activate Red River Floodway amid deluge

At the same time, a myriad of flood warnings were issued for parts of southern Manitoba.

Click to play video: 'Riding Mountain bracing for more snow' Riding Mountain bracing for more snow
Riding Mountain bracing for more snow – Apr 22, 2022

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