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This article was published 19/5/2011 (3626 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A leak in the west bank of the Portage Diversion is now under control, Emergency Organization Measures Minister Steve Ashton said today.
"We are cautiously hopeful that the worst has passed," Ashton told the legislature this afternoon.
Provincial crews, bolstered by 100 soldiers, worked late Wednesday and today to repair a weak spot on in hopes of avoiding a breach.
"While this site has now been brought under control, it was a sobering reminder of how quickly the situation can change when dealing with unprecedented water levels," Ashton said.
For several days, the diversion -- which sends river water to Lake Manitoba -- has been handling much more than was originally intended. Officials said this likely led to the seepage that emerged early Wednesday afternoon at the base of the west wall.
The Portage Diversion will continue to operate at its new capacity of close to 34,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). It was designed to handle 25,000 cfs, but was hastily upgraded recently to handle larger-than-expected river flows.
In recent days, there's been speculation last Saturday’s artificial breach in the river dike at Hoop and Holler bend -- diverting water towards the La Salle River -- was not needed. Only a relative trickle of 400 cfs had been allowed through.
However, provincial officials said the breach was needed to take pressure off the diversion and the dikes along the swollen Assiniboine River.