Red River crest to arrive at Winnipeg over next 4 to 10 days: province

Manitoba flood forecasters are expecting the Red River to peak for the season at Winnipeg sometime within the next four to 10 days.

The province’s hydrologic forecast centre expects the Red to crest upstream of the Red River Floodway inlet between April 28 and May 2.

Within Winnipeg, the Red is expected to peak between April 30 and May 4. The latest forecast has the Red cresting in Winnipeg in the moderate flood range, between 18 and 18.5 feet above normal winter ice level at James Avenue.

The Red in Winnipeg stood at 17.2 feet James on Monday afternoon.

Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation said it’s possible Winnipeg will see a sustained crest that lasts several days.

“This spring, most of the snowmelt in Manitoba portion of the basin was completed when there was significant snow accumulation in the U.S. portion of the basin. With the contribution of local tributaries, and potential future weather conditions, it is possible the Red River may stay at near peak levels for several days starting April 28,” a spokesperson for the province said in a statement.

The U.S. National Weather Service, meanwhile, does not expect to see peak flows on the Red reach Pembina, N.D., near the Canadian border, until May 2.

Typically, the crest does not arrive at Winnipeg until several days to a week after it reaches the border. A more simultaneous crest along the main stem of the river is possible this year, as smaller rivers flowing into the Red in Manitoba are cresting or have already crested.

“The size and timing of the local tributary flows into the Red River also play significant role in determining the timing and amount of peak flows,” the provincial spokesperson said.

Elsewhere in Manitoba, the province said a weather system may bring up to 15 millimetres of precipitation to central Saskatchewan and west-central Manitoba on Wednesday and Thursday. This would affect waterways in the the Interlake and Parkland regions, the upper portion of the Assiniboine River basin and the Saskatchewan River basin.

The province also says there’s still about 20 centimetres of snow on the ground western and southwestern Manitoba. Warmer weather is expected, creating a risk of a quick melt and overland flooding from Swan River to the U.S. border.

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