The Manitoba government is expanding a closure at Whiteshell Provincial Park as floodwaters continue to rise in the area.
A mandatory evacuation order and closure went into effect for northern parts of the park Tuesday at 5 p.m.
On Wednesday the province said the evacuation and closure area now extends from the Seven Sisters entrance a the north end of the park, along Provincial Road 307 east to the junction of PR 307 and PR 309.
“Rising water levels and rapidly evolving conditions are posing a significant risk to public safety,” the province said in a release.
Areas affected by the evacuation and closures include Sylvia Lake, Eleanor Lake, Otter Falls, Dorothy Lake, Barrier Bay, Nutimik Lake and Betula Lake.
The park in southeastern Manitoba, which is popular with cottagers but also home to some year-round residents, has seen sections swamped by the rising Winnipeg River.
Many cottagers have had to sandbag their properties, docks and boathouses have been damaged or swept away, and a large swath of the park was under an evacuation order as water covered roadways.
Water levels on most Whiteshell lakes have nearly equalled or exceeded previous historic records after a very rainy spring.
The closure area includes all cottage subdivisions, commercial areas, campgrounds, group use, day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails and beaches.
All backcountry campsites are also closed in Whiteshell Provincial Park, the province said.
Meanwhile, travel is not advised in Duck Mountain and Nopiming provincial parks due to multiple road washouts.
All campgrounds, canoe routes and backcountry campsites are closed in Duck Mountain, Nopiming and Manigotagan River provincial parks.
The province says some trails in Beaudry, Turtle Mountain and Whiteshell provincial parks are also closed including the Mantario Trail.
Watercraft restrictions remain in place in Nopiming and Whiteshell provincial parks to help protect flooded shorelines from erosion.
The ongoing flooding has also meant a number of campgrounds are closed, but the province said campgrounds at Manipogo and Rainbow Beach provincial parks will reopen on May 27 because conditions have improved in those areas.
Closures may need to be extended at other campgrounds if flooding continues, and the province says affected campers will be notified.
–With files from The Canadian Press