Below normal temperatures in mid-April might not appeal to Manitobans, but the slower warming trend has its benefits in fighting floods.
Thanks to the cold, the melting process has been slowed. As a result, the anticipated flood level has been lowered to something on par with what the province experienced in 2011 — or even slightly less — and well below the 2009 level predicted earlier.
The revised forecast was released Tuesday afternoon.
Prior to that, the province was expecting the Red River to crest around 32.5 feet in the Red River Valley, south of Winnipeg. Now it should be closer to 30 feet.
Inside Winnipeg — which is protected by the 47-kilometre floodway that diverts part of the Red River’s flow around the east side of the city — the crest was expected to reach 20.5 feet at the James Avenue pumping station.
Now, officials are expecting it to be closer to 19.5 feet.
The crest of the Red River is expected at the border, in Emerson, between April 16 and 19, and in Winnipeg between April 20 and 23.
The province expects to begin using the floodway between April 12 and 14, a news release said.
South of the city, where there is no floodway, a warning has been issued all the way to the international border.
Provincial crews have been deployed in a number of communities to prepare for potential ring dike closures. A partial ring dike closure is currently underway at Emerson, but the community remains accessible by road.
As for other river systems prone to flooding, the province says the Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris river basins have peaked in all but a couple of locations.
Images from the 2011 flood
The towns shown are St. Jean Baptiste and Morris. Both located south of Winnipeg.