Assiniboine River flood crest expected at Portage la Prairie today

A farmer near St. Francois Xavier is nervously watching the Assiniboine River as it is expected to crest on Thursday.

The province said crews at the Portage Diversion have completed preparations for emergency flows of above 25,000 cubic feet per second, but water in the outlet channel has yet to reach that level.

Len Kolochuk has watched the Assiniboine River eat up his land near St. Francois Xavier, Man., this spring.

"I hate going there because every time I go there, the water's higher and higher," Kolochuk said.

"Your heart drops every time you go there."

Kolochuk estimates he's permanently lost close to an acre of land thanks to overland flooding and erosion.

'River just swallowed it'

"It's just got such a sweeping corner in there that it just wiped out a whole bunch of it. We watched it as it took a 20 feet by 60 foot piece of ground. It just slid right off the bank and the river just swallowed it whole," Kolochuck said.

Kolochuk said his home isn't threatened by the river the way it was in 2014.

A handful of homes have been sandbagged near St. Francois Xavier just in case.

A flood watch remains in effect for the area between Portage la Prairie and Headingley, just west of Winnipeg.

Kolochuk hopes there will not be any significant precipitation over the next few days, which could raise the Assiniboine even higher.

He is frustrated by the information given to him by the province regarding river levels.

"Every day or two they come with a different projection where the river is going to be and now they finally say the river is coming down, but when I go to the river it's moving up," Kolochuk said.

"I just don't think they can guess what Mother Nature is going to do."