Province issues overland flood watch for all of southern, central Manitoba

According to the city, about 29,000 sandbags will be needed this flood season in Winnipeg. (Image Source: Glenn Pismenny/CTV News Winnipeg)

With another fresh surge of precipitation on the horizon for Manitoba, the province has issued an overland flood watch for all of southern and central Manitoba.

The province’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre issued the watch Monday, noting forecasters are monitoring a series of precipitation systems that could bring as much as 60 millimetres of rain to the region over the next five days.

Officials say a system starting Monday could bring 20 to 40 millimetres of rain, and a second system starting Friday could bring another 20 to 40 millimetres on top of that.

The province said most ditches and waterways are either already full or near capacity, noting heavy rain over a short period on saturated soil could create overland flooding.

The province said residents in the Interlake, Red River Valley and many other portions of central and southern Manitoba should monitor local conditions and take any necessary flood mitigation actions.

Local states of emergency have been declared in 26 communities. The rising waters have already caused loss of road access, flooded properties and caused damage to infrastructure, the province said, noting four municipal emergency operations centres have been opened as a result of these conditions.

Additionally, a flood warning is issued for Vermillion River, as water levels there are rising or near peak levels at some places. A flood warning remains in place for most parts of the Red River north of Emerson (except Winnipeg), La Salle near Sanford, the Pembina, Boyne, Morris and Little Morris rivers and the Deadhorse, Shannon and Netley creeks, Fisher River, Icelandic River, Assiniboine River from the Shellmouth Dam to Brandon, the Whiteshell Lakes area and the Whitemouth and Birch rivers.

A complete list of flood warnings, watches and high water advisories can be found on the province's website.

Up-to-date information on highway conditions, including detours and road closures, are available on the Manitoba 511 website or by calling 511.

Meanwhile, the Red River Floodway and the Portage Diversion continue to operate to lower water levels in Winnipeg. The province said flow in the floodway channel was near 40,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday morning.

Flows upstream of the floodway inlet this morning are approximately 80,000 cfs.