The Assiniboine River leading into Brandon is likely to only see very minor overbank flooding this spring, a new Spring Flood Outlook released on Tuesday by Manitoba Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre states.
The Assiniboine is said to have near-normal flows for this time of the year with soil moisture in the watershed at normal to above normal. Based on present conditions, forecasts in the report break down scenarios based on whether favourable, normal or unfavourable weather are received going forward:
- Under favourable weather, the river from the Shellmouth to Brandon is expected to see minor flooding at levels similar to 2019
- Under normal weather, levels from Shellmouth to Brandon would be comparable to 2016’s moderate flooding
- Unfavourable weather could see levels akin to moderate flooding seen in 2013
For the Qu’Appelle River upstream, minor flooding is said to be the primary risk under even unfavourable weather conditions.
Perhaps the best news for those in the area reading the report is that the years 2011 and 2014 are nowhere to be found in Assiniboine River comparables.
According to the outlook the Souris River's main stem downstream of Minot is at risk of moderate flooding which could range from 2009 to 2014 levels depending on if weather falls into the favourable, normal or unfavourable categories going forward. Under the unfavourable scenario it is stated that existing dikes in Melita, Souris and Wawanesa are at elevations that would protect against ensuing flood levels.
In a Tuesday media release announcing the availability of the outlook, the Government of Manitoba noted that despite considerable resources being involved in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic contingency plans are in place should a response to a high water event be necessary.
The full outlook, including expectations for other rivers in the province, can be read at https://www.gov.mb.ca/mit/floodinfo/pdf/2020/march_2020_flood_outlook_report.pdf
The region had seen extreme levels of precipitation in the fall including Brandon’s September total of 176.7mm, about quadruple the city’s 43.7mm September average. That contrasted with winter precipitation, which came in at well below-normal over the winter months.
Photo: Alif's Photos on Instagram