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Severe thunderstorm, tornado watches issued for western Manitoba

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for central Ontario. Getty Images

More severe weather is on its way to western Manitoba.

Shortly after noon Saturday, Environment Canada issued severe thunderstorm watches for a wide area along the Saskatchewan border.

They extend from the United States border to the Swan River area and east to the bottom of Lake Manitoba.

The weather service says conditions are favourable for severe thunderstorms, strong wind, large hail and heavy rain.

There’s also a risk of a tornado.

Read more: Flood woes continue in southern Manitoba after another wet weekend

A low-pressure system coming up from the U.S., it continues, will trigger thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening, “some of which may be severe.”

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“Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles,” the advisory reads.

“Take cover immediately, if threatening weather approaches.”

Flood woes continue

Also on Saturday, the province said it was monitoring a “series of precipitation systems” that could bring between 40 to 60 millimeters of rain to much of the province over the next five to seven days.

Wind gusts of up to 80 kilometers an hour Saturday could also have an adverse effect on some already-flooded areas, possibly raising water levels by as much as six inches from Letellier to Rosenort.

The Red River is nearing crest at Emerson, the province says, as is the Fisher River at Peguis First Nation and Fisher River Cree Nation.

Water levels are still expected to remain high for “an extended duration” in much of southern and central Manitoba.

Read more: Fisher River rises, causes more damage in flooded Manitoba community

As of early afternoon Saturday, 26 rural municipalities had declared states of local emergency. Flood warnings remained in place for the following areas:

  • The Red River from Emerson to the Red River Floodway inlet, and from the Red River Floodway channel outlet to Lake Winnipeg.
  • La Salle near Sanford, Pembina, Boyne, Morris, and Little Morris rivers, and the Deadhorse, Shannon, and Netley creeks.
  • Fisher and Icelandic rivers.
  • Assiniboine River from the Shellmouth Dam to Brandon.
  • Whiteshell lakes area.
  • Whitemouth and Birch rivers.

Flood watches were also in place for:

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  • Whitemud River.
  • Rat River.
  • Roseau River.
  • All other Red River tributaries.

Additionally, a high water advisory was issued for streams in the Parkland region that drain out of the Duck and Riding Mountains.

Highway 75 north and south of Morris is also closed.

Read more: ‘It’s taking a toll’: Manitoba evacuees concerned about flood impact on children

The province encourages people to contact their local municipal authority for flood assistance but to call 911 in an emergency.

Questions regarding forecasts, water levels, or provincial flood protection infrastructure are to be directed to 204-945-1165 or floodinfo@gov.mb.ca.

Additional information can be found on the province’s website.

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