Hydro warns Winnipeg River communities of rising waters

Manitoba Hydro is warning communities along the Winnipeg River from Pointe du Bois to Sagkeeng First Nation of rising waters due to the “rapid melt” of the winter snowpack melt combined with record spring rains.

Those rains in northwestern Ontario and southeastern Manitoba have led to large outflow increases from Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul, Ont., into the Winnipeg river, Hydro said in a statement on Friday.

Over the next 10 to 15 days, Winnipeg River levels are forecast to rise upstream of Seven Sisters Generating Station.

Nutimik Lake is expected to increase two-thirds of a metre (2.2 feet), while Dorothy Lake could rise over half a metre (1.9 feet).

Margaret/Eleanor Lake is expected to go up half a metre (1.7 feet), Sylvia Lake by a third of a metre (1.1 feet) and water could rise almost a quarter of a metre (0.7 feet) upstream of Silver Falls.

Hydro encouraged people who live in these communities and surrounding areas are encouraged to secure docks and move boats and other floatation devices to high ground.

“All boaters should be aware that water velocities will be much higher than last year and higher than normal regardless of location on the Winnipeg River,” Manitoba Hydro said in a statement.

“Extreme caution is advised for anyone boating near Manitoba Hydro generating stations as spillways are open and safety booms could not be installed this spring due to the rapid increase in flows.”

More information about water flows is available on the Lake of the Woods Control Board and Manitoba Hydro websites.

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