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Surging Assiniboine within a foot of record level

Dike work continues on 18th Street at Grand Valley Road (now covered in water) on Friday afternoon in preparation for the rising Assiniboine River's crest expected to come Saturday. The river has risen noticeably since this photo was taken.

TIM SMITH / BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Dike work continues on 18th Street at Grand Valley Road (now covered in water) on Friday afternoon in preparation for the rising Assiniboine River's crest expected to come Saturday. The river has risen noticeably since this photo was taken.

The Assiniboine River in Brandon continues to climb, on its way to a predicted peak around noon today.

As measured at the First Street Bridge, the river level hit 1,181.8 feet above sea level at 8 a.m. this morning. That's within a foot of the record level set in May 2001, of 1,182.89 feet.

Highest ever?

Although this may be the highest we've ever seen the Assiniboine River, it is supposed to have been even higher during the Great Flood of 1882, having reached an estimated height of 1,185.5 feet.

There was also a flood in 1881 — a summer flood, at the end of June, during which the river rose rapidly, sound famlilar? — but it affected mostly Grand Valley and wasn't high enough to badly affect Brandon.

Provincial officials project a peak level of between 1,182.7 to 1,183.1 feet above sea level at today's peak. After that, the water will recede slightly, but another smaller peak is projected for around mid-July.

Before the recent storms, last weekend, the Assiniboine measured around 1,170 feet, meaning it has risen about 12 feet in nine days.

The city will be holding a morning briefing at City Hall, at 10 a.m.

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