If Manitoba continues to see nice weather leading up to the spring melt, then it could lead to a positive flood outlook, according to Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler.
Schuler said despite a wet fall, it has been a fairly dry winter, which is leading to a more positive outlook.
Schuler said there are three scenarios facing Manitoba: favourable, average and unfavourable.
"With favourable weather conditions in Manitoba, we would expect water levels similar to last spring," said Schuler. "As you may recall in 2019, we operated the Red River floodway, but Highway 75, south to the U.S. border, stayed open."
He added the favourable outcome is dependent on any future snow and spring moisture, along with the rate of the snowmelt. But, based on current conditions the outlook is good.
He added if there is average weather, the province could see conditions similar to 2011, where Highway 75 was closed for 29 days. If the weather is unfavourable, then it could lead to conditions similar to 2009, when the highway closed for 37 days.
Schuler noted the northern United States has received a lot more snow than Manitoba, but based on the current conditions the government is confident it will be able to handle the large amounts of water that will be coming from the United States.
"The bulk of the water that we expect this year will be coming from the northern United States, however, we believe with much drier conditions here in Manitoba, the fact we can take a lot more water, and with the flood preparations that we have put into place as a province, we can take all of that and we don't think there will be a serious impact under the conditions as exist today," he said.
The province will provide an update in late March when it is set to release the second spring thaw outlook.