Flood warning issued for Red River Valley from Emerson to floodway inlet south of Winnipeg

Manitoba has issued a flood warning for the province’s Red River Valley, from the southern community of Emerson near the United States border up to the Red River Floodway inlet just south of Winnipeg.

The province’s hydrologic forecast centre announced the warning in a news release Sunday afternoon.

An overland flood warning is still in place for parts of southern Manitoba, as announced on Saturday.

A high water advisory has also been issued for the Whiteshell lakes area, the province said, as levels on most lakes are still rising because of this weekend’s rain and snow melt.

Basins in southern Manitoba — and the U.S. portions of the Red, Souris, Pembina and Roseau river basins — have gotten an average of 60 millimetres of precipitation since Friday. Another 10 millimetres are expected Sunday, which could fall as snow in some areas, the province said.

Farmland in the RM of Morris is underwater as flood waters rise in parts of the province. (CBC)

People in Manitoba should stay off waterways, including creeks, streams, rivers and the floodway, since high flows, debris and cold temperatures all present a significant safety risk, the release said.

Water levels on most tributaries in the Red River basin and along the river’s main stem are rising quickly in response to recent rainfall. They’re expected to keep rising over the coming days, the province said.

Southwest of Winnipeg, some are already seeing major overland flooding. The rural municipality of Stanley said in an update that people who need sandbags can pick them up at the public works shop on Road 25W, which for now will be open 24 hours a day.

The reeve of the RM of Morris says flooding wasn’t too much of a concern until this weekend’s storm. The rain just keeps coming down. 

Fifteen roads in the municipality are closed because of high waters, says Ralph Groening.

“We’re fighting. We’re doing everything that we can to protect our citizens, to keep our our communities safe, to make sure that the water and wastewater system, our infrastructure is safe, but it’s been a serious challenge for us,” he said.

Herp Lamba has been sandbagging in his yard to prevent flood waters from getting too close to his house. He hasn’t experienced a flood this bad since he moved to East St. Paul, Man., 7 years ago. (SRC)

Just northeast of Winnipeg, East St. Paul residents are also dealing with flooding.

Herp Lamba moved to the area seven years ago and says flooding hasn’t been an issue until recently.

“Even when we knew the rain and the snow was coming, we didn’t anticipate we would have to be getting sandbags and sandbagging our our backyards and that our backyard would be this high underwater,” he said.

Snow and rain warnings

More weather alerts are also now in effect, with snowfall and rainfall warnings declared across southern and central parts of the province. Full details are available on Environment Canada’s website.

A winter storm warning was also in effect for parts of the province as heavy snow with some blowing snow continues in those regions. The warning was lifted by early afternoon.

A snowfall warning is in effect for other parts of Manitoba, with 10 to 20 centimetres expected to fall. That snowfall should also taper off in the Interlake regions Sunday morning and then in the afternoon in areas east of Lake Manitoba.

Vehicles drive through a large puddle on Route 90 in Winnipeg on Saturday. The city is still under a rainfall warning as of Sunday. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Northerly winds gusting to 70 or 80 km/h are expected with that snow, which may lead to reduced visibility with blowing snow in open areas in the Interlake region Sunday morning, Environment Canada said.

Finally, rainfall warnings are in place for several parts of the province, though the amount of rain expected varies by region.

In southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, a total of between 30 and 60 millimetres of rain is expected to fall this weekend.

Rain with isolated thunderstorms will continue Sunday morning, but a strengthening northerly wind will bring down temperatures and turn rain to snow this morning, Environment Canada said. That snow will then taper off this afternoon or evening, as the Colorado low leaves the area.

Wind gusts of 70 to 80 km/h will also weaken Sunday evening. And there’s only up to five centimetres of snow expected to accumulate, since much of it will melt when it hits the ground.

The areas under that rainfall warning are:

  • Bissett-Victoria Beach-Nopiming Provincial Park-Pine Falls. 
  • City of Winnipeg.
  • Dugald-Beausejour-Grand Beach.
  • Morden-Winkler-Altona-Morris.
  • Portage la Prairie-Headingley-Brunkild-Carman.
  • Selkirk-Gimli-Stonewall-Woodlands.

Another rainfall warning is also in place for the following regions:

  • Steinbach-St. Adolphe-Emerson-Vita-Richer.
  • Sprague-Northwest Angle Provincial Forest.
  • Whiteshell-Lac du Bonnet-Pinawa.

The Colorado low is expected to bring 25 to 50 millimetres to southeastern Manitoba this weekend.

The same strengthening northerly wind will also turn rain to snow in those parts of the province, which is also expected to taper off Sunday evening and see no more than five centimetres build up.

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