the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur
plonq

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A River Runs Through It

This weekend should be interesting because we have a few unfortunate factors coming together. First we are expecting unseasonably warm temperatures today and tomorrow, which should cause the last of the ice and snow to melt rather quickly and flow into the river (because, you know, it needs a level boost). On Thursday and Friday they are calling for rain, which will quickly flow into the river (because, you know, it needs a level boost). Speaking of level boosts, the crest on The Red is scheduled to hit here on Saturday. It was supposed to arrive some time ago, but it got held up at the border (as much as I want to blame Canada Customs, I'm afraid it was natural causes this time).

They have revised the flood forecast back up to 1979 levels, which aren't as bad as 1997 levels, but are still pretty nasty. For the most part this will affect people outside of the city more than inside because we're under the aegis of the Red River Floodway, but this year we have a wild card in the form of the Assiniboine River. This little river doesn't get much coverage because it is a fraction the size of the red, and the flooding along it tends to be more of an annoyance than a veritable threat. It could play a factor this year, however, because its crest is due to hit on the same day as the crest on The Red. Why is this bad?

Because it empties here (see embedded map that probably isn't working, but shows the river draining into The Red right in the heart of downdown):


View Larger Map

Having both crests hit at the same time just adds to the fun. There has been another element to this flood that has made life interesting for people living north of the city; ice jams. Because it has been unseasonably cold so late into the season, the ice on the river has not broken up as much as it usually does before the high water hits. As a result, blocks of ice have been getting stuck at bends and narrows in the river, damming it and causing water levels to unexpectedly rise by as much as 5' in an hour. They had to send crews out in the middle of the night to rescue people from rooftops after their houses went from dry, to inundated in a matter of minutes. Others lost their home to huge blocks of ice that reared up out of the river and sheared their houses off at the base.

Unless the flood gates unexpectedly fail, most of the hurt is still going to be outside of city limits. I expect to come out of this with a (mostly) dry basement.


Current flood levels
Tags: winnipeg flood
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