Portage Diversion flow down, lower Assiniboine flow up as crest moves toward Headingley

Manitoba Infrastructure is sending a little more water down the Assiniboine River toward Winnipeg and diverting a little less into Lake Manitoba as the lower Assiniboine approaches its crest.

The Assiniboine River crested west of the Portage Reservoir early Thursday morning at a flow of 39,000 cubic feet per second, which is precisely three quarters of the volume of the crest during the 2011 flood.

The reservoir is where the Assiniboine's flow is split into two streams: the Portage Diversion, which carries floodwater north to Lake Manitoba, and the lower Assiniboine, which runs east to Winnipeg and then empties into the Red River at The Forks.

The peak flow through the diversion was 24,600 cubic feet per second on Wednesday, said Manitoba Infrastructure spokesman Paul White. It has since been reduced and was 21,775 CFS Friday at noon, he said.

Flows on the lower Assiniboine have also increased, from about 13,000 CFS on Thursday to 14,975 CFS on Friday, White said. The lower Assiniboine is rising as a result, he said.

"Maximum water levels between the Portage Reservoir and the City of Winnipeg have not yet been observed," White said Friday via email.

Communities along the lower Assiniboine have flood protection in place for a flow of 15,000 CFS. St. Francois-Xavier Reeve Dwayne Clark said riverfront property owners in his municipality have have completed their sandbag dikes and more sandbags are available, if needed.

Barring significant rain, the crest on the lower Assiniboine could arrive as early as Saturday. This would be the final significant flood crest in southern Manitoba.

In the north, the Carrot and Saskatchewan rivers have yet to crest at The Pas and remain covered in some ice, White said. Heavy rains upstream in Saskatchewan may add to the crests of both rivers, he added.