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'You can't put your guard down'

Floodwater begins to recede off Grand Valley Road — a roadway that floods over at 1,176.5 feet above sea level — on Sunday.

TYLER CLARKE/THE BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Floodwater begins to recede off Grand Valley Road — a roadway that floods over at 1,176.5 feet above sea level — on Sunday.

Floodwater level continues to drop along Brandon’s stretch of the Assiniboine River during the weekend, despite Saturday’s rainfall event.

As of Sunday morning, the river had dropped by 2.7 feet from its crest of 1,179.5 feet above sea level to its present 1,176.8.

A motorist drives along First Street past an aqua dam on Saturday evening. The City of Brandon says 8.4 millimetres of rain fell on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to reverse the recent trend of receding floodwater levels along the city’s stretch of the Assiniboine River.

Enlarge Image

A motorist drives along First Street past an aqua dam on Saturday evening. The City of Brandon says 8.4 millimetres of rain fell on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to reverse the recent trend of receding floodwater levels along the city’s stretch of the Assiniboine River. (TYLER CLARKE/THE BRANDON SUN)

This crest is slightly below their previous forecast and well within the capabilities of the city’s dike system, which can handle up to 1,186 feet above sea level.

Even so, it’s refreshing to learn that water no longer flows freely over Grand Valley Road, city treasurer Dean Hammond said on Sunday, adding that when water covers the road at 1,176.5 feet above sea level that they become "really concerned."

Grand Valley Road remains plugged at its intersection with 18th Street to keep floodwater off one of the city’s main thoroughfares, and First Street also remains clear, where floodwater no longer touches the aqua dam that lines a stretch of the roadway.

Filling in at the city’s emergency operations centre on Sunday, Hammond said that while these are all positive signs, it wouldn’t be prudent to consider Brandon out of the woods just yet.

Crews will remain vigilant, he said, adding that the emergency operations centre would remain open 24/7 until further notice.

"The more time that there is high water, the more stress that puts on the dike, so you can’t put your guard down," he said.

People will continue to monitor the situation, inspecting the dikes on a regular basis to check for seepage, set up pumps where necessary and offer whatever else might be needed.

Saturday’s rain measured 8.4 millimetres at Brandon and measured at lower levels upstream, indicating the rain event shouldn’t have too great an impact on local water levels, Hammond said.

On this front, the latest flood update from the provincial government notes that water levels along Westman’s stretch of the Assiniboine River remain on a decline.

Until water recedes off the dike system, the City of Brandon is urging residents to avoid affected areas.

Public access to Dinsdale Park, Queen Elizabeth Park (including the park entrance at 26th Street North) and the Wheat City Golf Course and Recreation Centre is strictly prohibited until further notice.

Barricades are up, and these areas will be monitored to ensure public compliance.

» tclarke@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @TylerClarkeMB

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 17, 2017

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Floodwater level continues to drop along Brandon’s stretch of the Assiniboine River during the weekend, despite Saturday’s rainfall event.

As of Sunday morning, the river had dropped by 2.7 feet from its crest of 1,179.5 feet above sea level to its present 1,176.8.

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Floodwater level continues to drop along Brandon’s stretch of the Assiniboine River during the weekend, despite Saturday’s rainfall event.

As of Sunday morning, the river had dropped by 2.7 feet from its crest of 1,179.5 feet above sea level to its present 1,176.8.

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