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Rivers rise while cold slows spring melt

Waters rise on the Assiniboine River at Bonnycastle Park.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Waters rise on the Assiniboine River at Bonnycastle Park.

Most southern Manitoba rivers are continuing to rise, but low temperatures are expected to slow the rate of the spring melt.

The Red River in Winnipeg rose seven feet since Friday and stood Monday at 10.1 feet above normal winter levels at the James Avenue monitoring station. The Red is expected to crest in Winnipeg between 11.9 and 15.4 feet James, which is at the bottom end of what the city considers a flood.

A crest of 15.4 feet would not require any sandbagging to protect low-lying Winnipeg properties.

The Red crested at Grand Forks, N.D., on Sunday and was receding on Monday. It's expected to crest at the Canada-U.S. border by this coming Sunday, the U.S. National Weather Service reports.

The Red remains within its banks between Emerson and Lake Winnipeg, the province announced in its Monday flood bulletin.

On the Assiniboine River, a high-water advisory remains in place from St. Lazare, near the Saskatchewan border, to Portage la Prairie, the province said.

An ice jam remains near Spruce Woods Provincial Park, but water has receded from Highway 5 at the river. There is the potential for more ice jams to form while temperatures remain below seasonal normals, the province warned.

Those same low temperatures, however, are mitigating the severity of what is already a modest spring flood season.

As of Monday, the Portage Diversion was sending about 2,500 cubic feet per second of Assiniboine River water to Lake Manitoba. This is 10 per cent of the diversion's normal capacity of 25,000 cfs.

A high-water advisory has also been issued for the Whitemud River, a major tributary of Lake Manitoba, between Gladstone and the lake. The river is near its banks at Gladstone, said the province.

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