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Honourable , MLA Thompson
May 2, 2013

Flood Update

I rise in the house to provide an update on the evolving flood situation.

The Red River is continuing to rise and conditions remain favourable at this time. Flows on most Red River tributaries are either stable or declining. Water levels at James Avenue dropped to 18.3 ft this morning. Levels and flows in Winnipeg have stabilized as a result of operation of the Red River Floodway and Portage diversion.

Cooler temperatures in the western portion of the province have continued to slow runoff, particularly in the Parkland region. Warmer temperatures over the next two days will increase melting and runoff and result in higher flows in rivers.

A flood warning has been issued along the Assiniboine River from Virden to Brandon. Flooding in these areas is expected to primarily affect agricultural land.

Flows on the Assiniboine River into the Portage reservoir remain high at 20,100 cubic feet per second. The Portage diversion is handling flows over 15,000 cubic feet per second while flows on the Assiniboine River downstream of Portage are being maintained at 5,300 cubic feet per second to reduce the risk of ice jams downstream.

Water is currently spilling over the Portage Diversion Failsafe as designed but is also flowing over the east dike due to an ice jam in the channel. Provincial crews are working fast to move an excavator in to deepen the Failsafe in order to prevent uncontrolled flooding.

Significant ice remains on the Assiniboine River between Poplar Point and PR 248. Conditions are being closely monitored. A high water advisory continues for the Assiniboine River below the Portage diversion between Portage la Prairie and Headingley due to the increased potential for ice-jamming.

Saskatchewan is temporarily increasing outflows from Tobin Reservoir to help manage high flows and ice runs on the North Saskatchewan River. Flows at The Pas are expected to be high, but remain within the banks. A new forecast for the Saskatchewan River is expected next week.