With the Assiniboine River in Brandon measured at a level that is a whisker away from 2011 levels, provincial flood forecasters say it will crest sometime between today and Sunday, and will stay high for a couple of days before the water finally begins to recede.
City of Brandon officials measured the river level at noon to be 1,182.85 feet above sea level — a little more than an inch higher than the morning's level and only half an inch lower than the peak in 2011.
The province says water levels have crested upstream in St-Lazare and Miniota, with the crest expected to flow through Brandon between now and Sunday.
Existing flood protection is holding, city and provincial officials say, although Highway 110 was closed for dike work earlier. It has since re-opened, but is down to one lane, with a flagperson guiding traffic through.
The flood has affected the lower campground at Kiche Manitou, in Spruce Woods Provincial Park. That campground is expected to stay closed until at least the end of the month.
That's just the first bit of damage reported. The province says that the flood-damage tally is expected to be more than $200 million for repairing roads and bridges alone. Total costs, including agricultural losses, continued to be assessed.
A disaster financial assistance program has been established. People can read more about it at www.manitobaemo.ca or they can visit the mobile recovery office that is making its way around Westman. The office is making the following stops:
- Melita – The office will be located at the Melita and Area Arena at 108 Townsend Dr. today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Deloraine – The office will be located in at the community hall at 111 Caver St. N on Tuesday, July 15 from noon to 6 p.m.
- Brandon – The office will be located on the east side of the Keystone Centre grounds on Wednesday, July 16 and Thursday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Pierson – The office will be located in front of the Rural Municipality of Edward office at
- 58 Railway Ave. on Friday July 18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To date, the province says that about 215 people have attended the mobile recovery offices and 166 applications have been received.