Winnipeg Flood Bulletin #1


(City of Winnipeg Release) Winnipeg, MB – In its 2020 March Flood Outlook released yesterday, the Province of Manitoba advised that there is a risk of moderate flooding on the Red River. Predicted water levels at the James Avenue gauge at peak is between 5.8 metres (19.0 ft) and 6.25 metres (20.5 ft) depending on weather conditions. At this time, the City has identified 57 properties that may be at risk of river flooding and may require dikes. The City hand-delivered notices to affected property owners, and survey crews will be visiting these properties in the coming days to mark the location and elevation of the sandbag dikes that will be potentially required. As of 12:38 p.m. on April 1, 2020, the river level at the James Avenue gauge was 11.80 ft. River levels are available online at City of Winnipeg – River Levels and updated in real time every 10 minutes. City of Winnipeg employees are monitoring river levels around the clock and have been working on annual spring flood preparations for several weeks, including making preparations for temporary and permanent pumping, closing river gates, and sealing manholes. The City will continue to work closely with the Province of Manitoba and will determine whether additional properties will require sandbag dikes to protect against river flooding. Only those properties notified directly by the City are considered at risk of river flooding. If a property owner has not heard from the City and believes their property is at risk of river flooding, they can contact 311. Sandbag production & dike construction While the City remains committed to maintaining essential services for our residents, we are also balancing the health, safety, and well-being of our employees. We are acting on the advice of experts and taking their instructions seriously. Our Emergency Operations Centre is actively engaged in our response to COVID-19, including coordinating response efforts in consultation with civic departments, and ensuring the appropriate policies and procedures are in place to support the continuity of our essential services and the ongoing maintenance of our critical infrastructure. The same is true of flood preparations, including safe-work procedures for the production of sandbags and the building of sandbag dikes. Sandbag production began this week. The City is currently operating two sandbag-making units, with crews currently producing approximately 24,000 sandbags a day. Crews are following safe work procedures and are following social distancing protocols developed in consultation with the province. Property owners and volunteers may need to adjust their work method for sandbag dike construction on their property depending on physical barriers/obstructions, terrain, and space available at the location where the sandbag dike is to be built. Residents are reminded to follow appropriate social distancing protocols while building their sandbag dike. Any adjustments made should follow social distancing guidelines of six feet or two meters. More information is available online. Basement, overland & snowmelt flooding Property owners should be alert to the various other types of flooding, including: basement, overland, and snowmelt. Sandbags are available for pick-up by Winnipeg residents who need to protect their properties against overland flooding. Winnipeg residents can now pick up sandbags for overland flooding at the following locations between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.: • 1220 Pacific Ave. • 1539 Waverley St. • 960 Thomas Ave. Springtime thaws also increase the risk of basement flooding across the city. Property owners are reminded to take steps to protect their homes and property against basement flooding. Although basement flooding is a risk at any time of the year, the risk increases in the spring and when river levels rise because the sewer system must rely heavily on pumping stations rather than gravity to carry the water runoff due to higher river levels. Property owners are reminded to take the following steps to protect their homes and property: 1. To ensure maximum protection against basement flooding, arrange for a licensed plumber to install a sewer line backup valve and a sump pit with pump in the basement 2. Inspect backup valves and sump pump drainage systems to make sure they are functioning properly 3. Ensure drainage is directed away from the home by extending downspouts away from the basement walls and ensuring the earth is built up around the house Property owners are reminded it is against the law to drain sump pump water into the basement floor drain or any other part of the house plumbing system, as it can overtax the sewer system placing their basement and those of their neighbours at risk of flooding and damage. Residents are encouraged to follow the City of Winnipeg on Facebook and Twitter (#WpgFlood) for flood updates, and more flood information is available online at winnipeg.ca/flooding. Thin ice safety Due to warming temperatures, residents are advised that thin ice conditions are present on Winnipeg waterways, including drainage ditches, culverts, streams, creeks, retention ponds and rivers. Parents are urged to speak to their children about the dangers of waterways. The ice surfaces are thin and fragile, and falling into ice-cold water can be deadly. The public is also reminded that while the Winnipeg Police Service’s River Patrol Unit places “Danger - Thin Ice” signage at specific locations including outfalls, retention ponds, and other potentially dangerous areas, ALL ice should be considered unsafe even if warning signage is not present.

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© Kevin Klein -  for Charleswood - Tuxedo - Westwood