Ice jams could soon force the Red River to peak at a level that puts 50 Winnipeg properties at risk.
But open water could still allow it to top out two feet lower.
The city will prepare for the worst-case scenario, which could see the Red peak at 20.8 feet above normal winter ice level at James Avenue, if ice complicates the flow. The crest could arrive as early as this weekend.
However, a crest of 18.6 feet James is expected, if open water conditions prevail. Moderate flooding occurs when the river level exceeds 18 feet James.
More rain or snow, as well as any change in ice conditions, could still alter the risk level. The city says it has enough sandbags ready to address properties currently deemed at risk.
“Flood protection is a dynamic situation. It’s weather-driven, it’s ice-driven,” said Chris Carroll, the city’s manager of wastewater services.
By Thursday morning, the Red had reached 15.8 ft James.
Carroll said “the vast majority of the City of Winnipeg” is already well protected, though the city noted increasing flows on Wednesday.
“This year is well within the realm of the city’s capability to protect our infrastructure and protect private properties … The levels we’re seeing are quite manageable from our perspective,” he said.
The province previously noted it expects to operate the Red River Floodway this season to help control the surge of water.
The city began notifying…
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