Province Issues First 2017 Flood Outlook

PROVINCE ISSUES FIRST 2017 FLOOD OUTLOOK

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Flood Risk Remains Moderate to Major Across the Province: Pedersen


Levels of spring flooding will be dependent on future weather conditions as the first 2017 flood outlook suggests the risk of moderate to major flooding persists in many areas of the province, Infrastructure Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today.

“At this time, we encourage communities to continue with preparatory measures such as ensuring emergency protocols are in place,” Pedersen said.  “The province’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre will continue to closely monitor precipitation, spring melt and inflows from the northern United States in the Red River Basin and the Souris River basin in the west.  As the flood outlook becomes clearer, we want to ensure the safety of our communities and all Manitobans.”

At this time, the forecast models suggest:

  • the Red, Souris, Pembina, Roseau and Lower Assiniboine rivers and the Whiteshell Lakes areas are at major risk of flooding;
  • the overland flooding risk is moderate in the Interlake region, along the upper Assiniboine River and the northern portion of the province including the Saskatchewan River; and
  • major lakes remain a concern and current river flows and other lake levels are normal to above normal for this time of year.

The minister said the province continues to assess data as it immediately begins work on the second and final flood outlook scheduled for release in late March.

The mid-February early melt which occurred in the southern portion of the Red River Basin has diminished most of the snowpack south of Grand Forks, N.D.  This has slightly reduced the potential for flood flows on the Red River in Manitoba, but it has also left the soil saturated and prone to high run-off volumes from future precipitation.

Future precipitation, the timing and how fast snow melts and the timing of run-off in Manitoba, the U.S., Saskatchewan and Ontario are still key factors.  Conditions in the Souris River basin, will affect the lower Assiniboine River in western Manitoba.

The Manitoba government and municipalities are continuing to prepare for spring flooding.  The province’s practice is to plan and prepare for unfavourable weather conditions and the scenario of highest flood risk.

This includes working with municipal emergency management teams to review existing emergency response plans and sharing information through conference calls and flood information seminars in Morris, Brandon and Selkirk, the minister added.

More information is available at www.gov.mb.ca/flooding.

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