Flooding – Manitoba Declares State of Emergency

Work began today to open the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel. Operating the channel will increase outflow from Lake St. Martin and directly lower the water level of Lake Manitoba.
Work began today to open the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel. Operating the channel will increase outflow from Lake St. Martin and directly lower the water level of Lake Manitoba.

WINNIPEG – Flooding across Saskatchewan and Manitoba have the Manitoba Government declaring a state of emergency.

The Manitoba government advises updated Assiniboine River forecasts have identified significantly higher flows expected along the Assiniboine River starting Saturday.

Work began today to open the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel. Operating the channel will increase outflow from Lake St. Martin and directly lower the water level of Lake Manitoba.
Work began today to open the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel. Operating the channel will increase outflow from Lake St. Martin and directly lower the water level of Lake Manitoba.

  • As of Friday morning, 50 municipalities and communities have declared a state of local emergency including:

­The rural municipalities of Albert, Alonsa, Archie, Arthur, Birtle, Blanchard, Brenda, Cameron, Cartier, Coldwell, Cornwallis, Daly, Edward, Elton, Eriksdale, Glenwood, Grahamdale, Hamiota, Harrison, Lawrence, Miniota, Morton, North Cyprus, Ochre River, Pipestone, Portage la Prairie, Russell, Shellmouth-Boulton, Sifton, Siglunes,
St. François Xavier, Strathclair, Wallace, Westbourne, Whitehead, Winchester and Woodworth;

The towns of Birtle, Deloraine, Hartney, Melita, Oak Lake, Roblin, Souris and Virden;

The villages of Elkhorn and Winnipegosis,

­The Sioux Valley Dakota Nation; and

­The cities of Brandon and Portage la Prairie.

  • Communities with evacuees include the rural municipalities of Albert, Archie, Arthur, Cameron, Edward, Miniota, Pipestone, Siglunes and Wallace, the town of Virden, the Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation, the Ebb and Flow First Nation, the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, the Waywayseecappo First Nation and the Peguis First Nation.

Flood Warnings, Watches and High Water Advisories

  • Flood warnings are in place for:

­   the Souris River;

­   the Assiniboine River, from the Shellmouth Dam to Brandon;

­   all points along the Winnipeg River system including Nutimik Lake;

­   the Qu’Appelle River, as well as streams and drains in the Parkland region, Souris River basin and the Assiniboine basin between the Shellmouth Reservoir and Holland; and

­   Lake St. Martin and Dauphin Lake.

  • Flood watches are in place for the Souris River, Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg.
  • High water advisories are in place for the Red, Saskatchewan, Swan and Red Deer rivers and Red Deer Lake.

Situation Update

  • The Assiniboine River at Brandon is forecast to peak at 35,000 to 36,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) tomorrow.  The peak water flow at Brandon during the 2011 flood was 36,730 cfs.  The permanent flood protection dikes built following the 2011 flood are designed to provide adequate flood protection for the current forecast levels.
  • The Assiniboine River at the Portage Reservoir is forecast to peak at 52,000 to 54,000 cfs on or around July 8 to 9, assuming ideal weather.
  • As a result of these high flows, preparations are now underway for a controlled breach at the Hoop and Holler Bend to handle approximately 5,000 cfs of excess flow and reduce the high possibility of an uncontrolled breach.
  • There will be limited access to the area while crews are working and access to the overhead airspace will be limited.
  • Assistance will be available to help residents who may be affected by flooding caused by this controlled release.
  • A second crest of approximately 32,000 cfs is expected on the Assiniboine River at Brandon around July 17.
  • The province has:
    • declared a provincial state of emergency, which took effect at noon today, to allow for emergency work to reinforce the dikes along the Assiniboine River between Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg, and to raise the dikes along the Portage Diversion;
    • formally requested the assistance of the Canadian Forces to support flood-fighting efforts along the Assiniboine River dikes; and
    • set up a command post near Portage la Prairie to support efforts to reinforce the Assiniboine dikes.
  • The state of emergency affects the city of Portage la Prairie and the rural municipalities of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, St. François Xavier and Headingley, and the RMs of Grey and MacDonald will be added.  The province will assist municipalities and property owners, who are advised to prepare for 2011 levels plus one foot.
  • There will be considerable activity along the dikes and diversion.  Residents are advised to be cautious and watch for heavy equipment moving in the areas around the dikes.

Emergency Response

  • As of this morning, approximately 698 people have evacuated their homes and communities due to flooding in 2014.  This includes approximately 160 evacuees from two communities due to spring flooding.
  • At this time, municipalities are co-ordinating evacuations in their communities.  Evacuations from First Nations communities are co-ordinated by the Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters (MANFF) and Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).
  • As of Friday morning, 50 municipalities and communities have declared a state of local emergency.  New declarations include the rural municipalities of Cartier, Harrison, Lawrence, Portage la Prairie and St. François Xavier, the Town of Souris and the City of Portage la Prairie.
  • Several flood warnings, watches and high water advisories remain in place.  A new flood warning has been issued for the Souris River.
  • STARS will be used to respond to medical emergencies in the flood zone and will resume
    inter-facility transfers today to support flood operations.
  • A helicopter from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship is on standby in Brandon to undertake rescues as needed.  Since the helicopter arrived Tuesday afternoon, it has not flown any rescue missions.
  • In addition, the Office of the Fire Commissioner has deployed a water rescue team in Brandon to support emergency water rescues.

Assiniboine River

  • There is overbank flooding in the Assiniboine River valley between the Shellmouth Dam and Brandon.
  • The water level on the Shellmouth Reservoir has increased to 1,412.4 feet.  Inflows to the reservoir are approximately 12,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) today while outflows from the reservoir are approximately 6,620 cfs.
  • The Shellmouth Reservoir water levels are forecast to peak at approximately 1,416.9 ft. on
    July 12.
  • The City of Brandon is taking steps to reduce the effects of flooding in the community.
  • The Portage Diversion is operating, with flows on the Assiniboine River above the diversion at 27,990 cfs.  The diversion is currently redirecting 17,490 cfs and flows on the Assiniboine River downstream of the diversion are 10,500 cfs.

Assiniboine River Tributaries

  • Flows on most tributaries are beginning to decline.  However, flow on some tributaries, such as the Little Saskatchewan, Cypress and Rolling rivers, increased today.
  • Flows on the Qu’Appelle River are declining but remain high.
  • The Souris River basin received a significant amount of precipitation from the recent storm, resulting in overland flooding in many areas, and high flows on streams and drains as well as the Souris River.
  • Water levels and flows on the Souris River peaked at Melita yesterday and slightly declined today.  Water levels rose by 1.9 ft. at the town of Souris and increased by 2.1 ft. at Wawanesa.  Manitoba government staff is working with local officials to make appropriate preparations.
  • The forecast peak at the town of Souris tomorrow will be at 16,000 to 17,000 cfs and a water level of 1,357.5 to 1,358.2 ft.
  • The forecast peak at Wawanesa is 15,120 cfs and a water level of 1,155 to 1,155.5 ft. between July 5 and 6.
  • Whitewater Lake is at a historic high of 1,633.4 ft. and is forecast to peak at a water level of approximately 1,633.5 ft.

Eastern Manitoba

  • The Winnipeg River system is experiencing very high flows due to significantly higher-than-normal precipitation in eastern Manitoba and northwest Ontario.
  • The forecast flow at the Slave Falls Generating Station is 95,600 cfs, approaching the record-high flow set in 1954.
  • Manitoba government staff is working with cottage owners to make appropriate preparations including sandbagging to protect several properties in the area.

Parkland Region

  • Water levels on the Swan River at the town of Swan River are near peak and are expected to peak at levels similar to what was experienced in 2006.
  • Permanent flood protection dikes are providing adequate protection.  Manitoba government staff is working with local officials to monitor the situation.
  • Current levels on Dauphin Lake are 859.6 ft.  The forecast peak water level on Dauphin Lake is 860 to 860.4 ft., due to recent rains.  The peak water level in 2011 was 861.14 ft.
  • Flood stage on Dauphin Lake is 858 ft. and the summer target level is 855 ft.

Lake Manitoba

  • The forecast peak water level on Lake Manitoba is being updated to account for the new Assiniboine River forecast.
  • Operation of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel will increase outflow from Lake St. Martin and help to indirectly lower levels on Lake Manitoba.
  • This will also allow the Fairford River Water Control Structure to remain completely open longer, allowing for higher outflows from Lake Manitoba later in the year.
  • The initial discharge through the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel will be approximately 5,600 cfs.  The channel is expected to stay open until the spring of 2015.

Red River

  • The crest on the Red River is nearing St. Jean Baptiste.
  • The Red River decreased slightly to 17.4 ft. today at James Avenue in Winnipeg and is expected to remain above 14 ft. until mid-July.

Heat Safety

  • The forecast for this weekend is for high temperatures and high humidity.  Heat and high humidity reduces the body’s ability to cope with hot temperatures because less heat can be lost by perspiration.
  • Prepare for the heat by drinking plenty of water or other liquids before feeling thirsty, prevent sun burn by wearing a hat and sunscreen, and take breaks from the heat in a cool place.
  • Symptoms of overexposure to sun and heat can include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness or tiredness, confusion, rapid breathing and rapid pulse.
  • If any of these symptoms are associated with heat or sun exposure, move to a cool or shaded place immediately, lie down, sip water and cool down by sponging or splashing water on yourself.  Emergency medical attention may be required depending on the severity and duration of symptoms.
  • For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/environmentalhealth/heat.html.

Stress and Anxiety Resources

  • The scale and scope of the summer flood is very challenging for affected Manitoba families.  There are resources to help deal with stress and anxiety which result from crisis situations.
  • Resources are available at www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/managing_stress.html.

Road Information

  • Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation reports sections of many provincial roads have been affected by the heavy rainfall and some roads are either closed or marked with caution.  Municipal roads may also be affected, closed or have load limitations.  Drive with caution and obey road closed signs.
  • For current highway conditions, call 511, visit www.manitoba.ca, www.mb511.caor follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovRoads.
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