WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is warning that rain and winds could cause damage along the province’s southern lakes already swollen by one of the wettest springs on record.
Infrastructure Minister Doyle Piwniuk says a powerful Colorado low tracking into the province could create more than 1.5-metre-high waves crashing into shores.
Environment Canada predicts a band of showers and thunderstorms will move in from the south over the next few days, and bring with it between 30 and 75 millimetres of rain and winds gusting up to 100 km/h.
Piwniuk says lakes Winnipeg, Manitoba, Dauphin and Winnipegosis will be affected.
The province is working with about 50 communities, First Nations, parks and local authorities to ensure people are prepared and have sandbags.
An overland flood warning has also been issued for most of southern Manitoba.
“All these Colorado Lows are coming at us ... but we are doing everything we can do to make sure Manitobans are safe,” Piwniuk said Monday.
The province has been walloped by wet weather for weeks. It’s brought significant flooding, damage and evacuations in some areas.
There are currently 32 local states of emergency, the province said.
Piwniuk said he understands the concern felt by cottagers and communities at risk from the latest weather threat. He said there's a chance it could damage cottage country as heavily as happened more than a decade ago.
At that time, high water levels on the southern lakes were worsened by a powerful storm. It damaged hundreds of properties, washing away docks, flooding buildings and roads, and blowing cabins off their foundations.
The flooding also led to the relocation and rebuild of Lake St. Martin First Nation.
Piwniuk said there were no evacuation orders on Monday, but residents were being warned to take precautions and stay safe.
“We always want to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2022.
Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press