Red River now expected to crest as high as a 'moderate flood' in Winnipeg

Red River now expected to crest as high as a 'moderate flood' in Winnipeg

The Red River in Winnipeg has risen three metres in two days and is now expected to crest at a level considered a moderate flood.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Red was measured at 12.6 feet above normal winter ice levels at James Avenue, which is four feet above the level of the Assiniboine riverwalk. As recently as Friday morning, the Red stood at only 2.8 feet James.

Provincial flood forecasters expect the Red to continue to rise three to four feet per day and may crest in Winnipeg around 19 feet James, Manitoba Infrastructure said in a statement.

That's half-a-foot below the actual flood crest during the spring of 2017, when several low-lying city properties were advised to construct sandbag dikes as a precaution.

In response to the province's latest flood outlook, the city says it started delivering notices to 22 property owners Thursday, informing them that crews would be visiting their properties to survey in preparation for the construction of sandbag dikes, should they be required.

The city expects the delivery of the notices and surveying would be completed by end of day Tuesday.

The city is also advising people who live along waterways to move or secure any structures near the water's edge. The city also advised all residents to take the usual springtime basement-flooding and lawn-drainage precautions.

The province is expecting to operate the Red River Floodway control structure to minimize the severity of river flooding this spring, Manitoba Infrastructure said in its statement.

The maximum crest of 19 feet James factors in a floodway operation, the province said. The crest is expected in Winnipeg around May 4.

The city and province are also preparing for potential ice jams, which can cause rapid water-level increases.

The city considers any crest between 15 and 18 feet James a minor flood. A moderate flood crests between 18 to 20 feet James, while a major flood crests above that level.

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