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Flood peaks coming soon to Westman

The Assiniboine River has overtaken the low-lying Riverbend Park in the RM of Cornwallis, along Veterans Way, just east of Brandon, early Friday evening.

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The Assiniboine River has overtaken the low-lying Riverbend Park in the RM of Cornwallis, along Veterans Way, just east of Brandon, early Friday evening.

Water levels across Westman are surging and will crest in Brandon, Souris and Wawanesa tomorrow or Sunday. Water levels in Melita peaked yesterday.

The province, in an unexpected second flood update Friday afternoon, said that water levels were rushing through the province faster and more powerfully than they had anticipated, and were likely to peak sooner and higher than they had hoped.

Along with extensive preparations near Portage la Prairie — where the military will be sandbagging and where the province is readying to once again breach the dike at Hoop and Holler — workers in and around Brandon are rushing to finish last-minute dike work around 18th Street North and Kirkcaldy Drive.

The Assiniboine River at Brandon is forecast to peak at 35,000 to 36,500 cubic feet per second tomorrow.  The peak water flow at Brandon during the 2011 flood was 36,730 cubic feet per second, and the province says that the permanent flood protection dikes built following the 2011 flood are designed to provide adequate flood protection for the current forecast levels. 

Then, water levels will decline for a time, although a second crest of approximately 32,000 cucic feet per second is expected on the Assiniboine River at Brandon around July 17. 

Elsewhere in Westman, flows on most Assiniboine River tributaries are beginning to decline. However, flow on some tributaries, such as the Little Saskatchewan, Cypress and Rolling rivers, increased today.

Flows on the Qu’Appelle River are declining but remain high.

The Souris River basin received a significant amount of precipitation from the recent storm, resulting in overland flooding in many areas, and high flows on streams and drains as well as the Souris River.

Water levels and flows on the Souris River peaked at Melita yesterday and slightly declined today. Water levels rose by 1.9 feet at the town of Souris and increased by 2.1 feet at Wawanesa.  Manitoba government staff is working with local officials to make appropriate preparations.

The forecast peak at the town of Souris tomorrow will be at 16,000 to 17,000 cubic feet per second and a water level of 1,357.5 to 1,358.2 feet. That is more than six feet lower than in 2011.

The forecast peak at Wawanesa should be either tomorrow or Sunday, and is expected to be 15,120 cubic feet per second, with a water level of 1,155 to 1,155.5 feet. That is also more than six feet lower than in 2011.

Whitewater Lake is at a historic high of 1,633.4 feet already, and is forecast to peak at a water level of approximately 1,633.5 feet.

Further north, water levels on the Swan River at the town of Swan River are near peak and are expected to peak at levels similar to what was experienced in 2006.

Permanent flood protection dikes are providing adequate protection but Manitoba government staff is working with local officials to monitor the situation.

Current levels on Dauphin Lake are 859.6 feet. The forecast peak water level on Dauphin Lake is 860 to 860.4 feet, due to recent rains, about a foot lower than the crest in 2011. Flood stage on Dauphin Lake is 858 feet and the summer target level is 855 feet.

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