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News Releases

April 1, 2017


City of Winnipeg: Flood Bulletin #5

Released: 11:27 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB â Today, the City of Winnipeg provided an update on its flood preparations, based on the forecast from the Province of Manitoba, operation of the Red River Floodway and ice conditions. 

The operation of the floodway, which began yesterday, continues to influence our flood preparations. As a cautionary measure, the City will continue to plan using Thursday’s forecasted peaks (between 18.6 to 20.8 feet James).

Given current ice conditions and an observed increase in river levels overnight, City flood planning and operations will be modified today as necessary. The City continues working with affected property owners to provide support to construct sandbag dikes as required.

Current river levels are available at City of Winnipeg â River Levels.

Update: Number of Properties Requiring Sandbag Dikes

On Thursday, City officials identified 50 properties at risk. With operation of the Red River Floodway, ice conditions and the overnight rise in river levels, City engineers have determined that 25 properties require sandbag dike construction today as a precaution.

City officials will re-visit the remaining 25 properties that were not immediately required to build sandbag dikes.  These property owners will be asked to remain on standby.

The City currently has enough sandbags made to address the needs of at-risk properties and will continue sandbag production accordingly.

Additional precipitation or a change in ice conditions could alter the number of properties at risk. City of Winnipeg staff will continue to monitor river levels, weather conditions and floodway operations, while working closely with the Province of Manitoba, to adapt protection measures accordingly.

If you are not contacted by the City of Winnipeg regarding the need to build a sandbag dike, your property has not been identified as being 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, open 24 hours every day, by phone at 311 or by email at .

The City does not require volunteers to assist in the construction of dikes. 

Update: Overall City Operations

The City’s current flood operations and river levels have had no impact on the delivery of city services.

General Flood Information

The public is encouraged to follow the City of Winnipeg on Facebook and Twitter (#WpgFlood) for flood updates as well as reviewing flood information on winnipeg.ca/EmergWeb/

Springtime thaws also increase the risk of basement flooding across the city. When river levels are high, the normal capacity of the sewer system is reduced. With heavy rains, there is an increased risk of overloaded sewers backing up through house sewer lines and flowing into basements that aren’t protected.

Although basement flooding is a risk at any time of the year, the risk increases with high river levels because the sewer system must then rely heavily on pumping stations rather than gravity to carry the rainfall runoff.

Homeowners are reminded to take steps to protect their homes and property.

  1. Residents who live along the river should move or secure any structures or equipment near the water’s edge, such as docks, sheds, gazebos, irrigation pumps, and recreational equipment. The rising river level will affect each property owner differently.
  2. 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.
  3. Inspect backup valves and sump pump drainage systems to make sure they are functioning properly.
  4. 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.

More information is available on the following web pages:

Protect Your Home from Basement Flooding
Winnipeg River Levels
James Avenue Datum
City of Winnipeg Emergency Preparedness Program

April 1, 2017