It was 25 years ago today a massive blizzard hit southern Manitoba – the catalyst for the Flood of the Century.
While some spring snow started to fall on April 4, 1997, conditions took a turn for the worse on April 5 – the beginning of a three-day blizzard that dumped nearly 50 centimetres of snow on the Red River Valley.
A car is buried under snow during a massive blizzard that hit Winnipeg on April 5, 1997.
The blizzard buried cars in the streets and had some Winnipeggers strapping on cross-country skies to get through the snow storm.
Two cross-country skiers make their way down the sidewalk during a massive snowstorm on April 5, 1997.
The late blizzard added to an already heavy spring runoff and led to what would become known as the Flood of the Century.
According to the Province of Manitoba, the 1997 flood was the most severe flood in the Red River Valley since 1852.
Three men are pictured boating in a flooded residential area in Manitoba in the spring of 1997. (Source: Province of Manitoba)
More than 7,000 military personnel were called in to help keep the flood waters at bay, joining in on the sandbagging efforts. The province said more than 25,000 people were evacuated from their homes, and an estimated 1,000 houses were damaged.
More than 7,000 military personnel were called in to help keep the flood waters at bay, joining in on the sandbagging efforts in the spring of 1997. (Source: Province of Manitoba)
Places such as Ste. Agathe, which did not have a permanent ring dike at the time, were among the hardest hit communities during the flood.
An aerial photo of Ste. Agathe from April 29th, 1997
According to the province, the Red River crested at around 5.5 metres (24.5 feet) at the James Avenue Pumping Station in Winnipeg.
This year, the Red River at James Avenue is expected to peak between 17.3 and 18.3 feet next week.
-With files from CTV’s Josh Crabb
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