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Minor to moderate flooding expected in Westman

In this May 2011 photo, provincial highway crews work to shore up the super sandbag dike at the intersection of Grand Valley Road and 18th Street as the city prepares for higher floodwaters on the Assiniboine River. The city should escape flooding this year.

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In this May 2011 photo, provincial highway crews work to shore up the super sandbag dike at the intersection of Grand Valley Road and 18th Street as the city prepares for higher floodwaters on the Assiniboine River. The city should escape flooding this year.

The worst-case scenario is moderate spring flooding this year, according to the province's preliminary fllod forecast, released this afternoon.

However, flood potential is still determined by weather conditions between now and the spring melt — the province cautions that additional precipitation and a quick melt could change the situation.

Currently, the flood potential is rated as moderate on the Assiniboine River due to normal to above-normal soil moisture in the upper portions of the watershed and normal to above‑normal snow water equivalent in most of the basin.

With favourable weather conditions, the Assiniboine River should see little or no flooding this spring. With average weather from now on, minor flooding could occur on the low-lying portions of the upper Assiniboine River. And, with the worst-possible weather, some moderate flooding could happen in the Assiniboine Valley from Shellmouth to Brandon, similar but generally lower than 2006.

There is also potential for moderate flooding along the Souris River, given average to above-average winter snowfall in the North Dakota, Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba portions of the river's watershed. Poor weather this spring could result in flooding with peak stages similar to those of 2009. The province says that the town of Melita has high enough dikes to protect against any expected flooding.

The next flood update is scheduled for late March.

For the complete story, see Thursday's Brandon Sun.

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