Water levels are still high along the Assiniboine River in Brandon, but the local flooding situation is improving after less precipitation than anticipated fell over the weekend.
Upwards of 90 millimetres of rain was forecast to fall in southern Manitoba last week, but in Brandon only around 34 millimetres of rain fell since Thursday, according to Environment Canada.
That’s positive news for the Assiniboine River, which has spilled over its banks in the city and flooded some areas of Brandon, said Tobin Praznik, the city’s emergency co-ordinator. The accumulation was also less than expected in the Assiniboine and Shellmouth basins.
The Assiniboine River peaked on May 20, he said, and has declined slightly since. At 9:35 a.m. on Monday, the City of Brandon measured the river to be at 1,174.74 feet above sea level.
While the situation is "stable," Praznik said there is concern heading into thunderstorm season in June and July.
"As long as those rivers remain high, we’re certainly going to remain under risk depending on future storms."
Both Dinsdale and Queen Elizabeth parks, which are along the banks of the river, are currently closed due to flooding. On Monday, water reached to the edge of Dinsdale Park, and it was largely underwater.
It’s too soon to tell if the two municipal parks have sustained significant damage from the floodwaters, Praznik said, and it depends how long the water stays spilled over the banks.
Water levels are high all along the river in Brandon, including at the Riverbank Discovery Centre. The flooding has delayed plans to install a kayak launch and submerged the trail leading to and from the footbridge over the Assiniboine River, said general manager James Montgomery.
He doesn’t know yet whether the trail is damaged, as it’s not safe to wade into the floodwaters, he said.
Despite the flooding, Montgomery said he gives credit to Brandon’s flood protection measure investments and dikes for doing their job.
"I think Brandon is actually a shining example of how we can adapt to climate change and not just constantly respond to it," he said, adding there isn’t a massive need for sandbagging in Brandon like during past floods.
A total of 106 millimetres of rain has fallen so far this month in Brandon.
As flooding continues, Praznik said it is very important to stay safe around the water and avoid closed areas. Water, especially in such large volumes, can be unpredictable.
» Twitter: @DrewMay_