Countryfest campers have had to leave a Dauphin-area campground after recent heavy rains, and the province has issued a flood warning for Dauphin Lake as water levels continue to rise.
On Friday afternoon, the Hydrologic Forecast Centre issued the flood warning for the lake, as it is already two feet higher than its target level and expected to rise another two to three feet, depending on the weather. This would put it within a couple of inches of the record level it reached in 2011.
Property owners are being advised to secure or remove valuables along shorelines as the potential for wind setup and wave action will develop.
Recent heavy rains in the Dauphin area have also resulted in high run-off and flows in Mink Creek, the Valley, Wilson, Vermillion, Turtle and Ochre rivers and other small creeks, such as Edwards Creek, flowing into Dauphin Lake.
The Mossy River Dam, located on the outlet for Dauphin Lake as it flows north to Lake Winnipegosis and into Lake Manitoba, is being used at top capacity to try to draw down the lake. It has maintained maximum outflows for more than two months.
The RM of Dauphin declared a state of local emergency on Wednesday for flood preparations and response. The Vermillion Park campground in Dauphin was evacuated that same day and is currently flooded with approximately four feet of water. Stoney Point Beach campground in the RM of Dauphin was evacuated Thursday due to flooding. Two recreation vehicles were damaged.
About 50 roads in the area are affected by flooding. Six families in the RM have been evacuated — primarily due to concerns about accessing their property. About 16 people remain evacuated in the RM and an evacuation centre has been opened at the municipal office.
Sandbags are available at the municipal yard for RM of Dauphin residents.
A total of 10 municipalities have declared states of local emergency as they battle flooding and high water, including an ongoing emergency in the RM of Pipestone, where about 75 homes have been damaged.
Twenty-eight patients at the Reston Health Centre have been transported to other health-care facilities in the region. Of the 14 families evacuated from the RM, at least three returned home by Friday.
In Brandon, the Assiniboine River rose more than two feet after the three storms and continues to crest. The province has opened the Portage Diversion to reduce the risk of basement flooding in Winnipeg. About one-third of the river is being diverted away from the capital.
» Brandon Sun