Flood forecasters in Manitoba say they are keeping a close eye on a series of rainfall systems that could bring 1-2 inches of rain to much of the province over the next five to seven days.
There is also a high probability that some areas will receive more than 60 millimeters of rain, the province said in a flood bulletin on Saturday afternoon.
The Manitoba Hydrological Forecasting Center will update its water level forecasts to determine the effect all the rain will have on areas that are already inundated, the bulletin said.
At this time, forecasts suggest southern and central Manitoba will receive strong southerly winds later Saturday and overnight with gusts up to 50 mph.
That could cause water levels in flooded areas of the Red River Valley south of Winnipeg, from Letellier to Rosenort, to rise as much as six inches.
The waves could also increase the temporary rise in water levels, which could cause water to temporarily cover roads, according to the flood bulletin.
Twenty-six Manitoba communities have now declared local states of emergency, the bulletin said, while four municipal emergency operations centers have been activated.
Rivers near the ridge
The Red River is near the crest in Emerson, while the Fisher River is near the crest in the Peguis First Nation and the Fisher River Cree Nation, both declared states of emergency this week.
Peguis boss Glenn Hudson said the outlook is not good for the community, but they will continue to fight for their homes.
“It might rain, so we continue to sandbag and put Tiger tubes around our houses here in the community,” he said in an interview Saturday.
“You can’t beat Mother Nature.”
Flooding continues in Interlake, the Red River Valley and many other parts of central and southern Manitoba, the bulletin said.
However, those floods are now becoming more concentrated around rivers, streams and storm drains that are over capacity as the water moves through the system.
People living in these areas should monitor local conditions and take necessary measures to mitigate flooding, the province says.
The floodway, along with the Portage Bypass, continue to work to lower water levels in Winnipeg.
Water levels continue to rise in the Red River Valley, with peak levels forecast to be similar to 2009 levels in Emerson, and slightly lower, between 2011 and 2009 levels, from Letellier to the entrance of the Red River Floodway .
The 2009 Red River flood was the third worst since Manitoba’s founding. The peak flow of the river south of Winnipeg that spring was 97,000 cubic feet per second.
Flow into the floodway channel was about 40,000 cubic feet per second on Saturday morning, the bulletin said, while flows upstream of the floodway entrance were about 79,000.
But water levels are expected to remain high for a while in many parts of southern and central Manitoba, the bulletin said.
Highway 75, the main route from Winnipeg to the US, remains closed both north and south of the city of Morris, with detours in place. Details on road closures in Manitoba are available on the provincial website.
Several high water advisories and warnings are in effect:
- A flood warning remains in effect for the Red River from Emerson to the entrance of the Red River Floodway and from the exit of the Red River Floodway channel to Lake Winnipeg.
- A flood warning remains in effect for La Salle near the Sanford, Pembina, Boyne, Morris and Little Morris Rivers and Deadhorse, Shannon and Netley Creeks. All other Red River tributaries remain under a flood watch.
- A flood warning remains in effect for the Fisher and Icelandic rivers.
- A flood warning remains in effect for the Assiniboine River from Shellmouth Dam to Brandon.
- A flood warning remains in effect for the Whiteshell Lakes area.
- A flood warning remains in effect for the Whitemouth and Birch rivers. A flood watch is issued for the Rat River and remains in effect for the Roseau River.
- A flood watch remains in effect for the Whitemud River.
- A High Water Advisory is issued for streams in the Parkland region that drain out of the Duck and Riding Mountains due to rapidly increasing flow and water levels.