WINNIPEG —; Above-freezing temperatures have led to an early spring flood that will see the Red River peak in Winnipeg in five or six days, according to the province.
Spring run-off from snow melt is already underway in southern, southwest, southeast and the Interlake regions.
A steep rise in temperatures in many parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the U.S. have led to the early spring melt.
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Five properties are “potentially at risk” from flooding in Winnipeg according to a city news release Thursday afternoon. The city said it’s working with the homeowners to make sure sandbags are in place if they’re needed during the peak between March 20 and March 22.
The water levels at James Avenue were at 15.6 feet at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and are expected to crest between 16 and 17 feet. Ice jams could make the peak higher but the Red River is expected to stay in its banks and not require the floodway or community dike closures.
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Springtime thaws combined with high river levels are making basement flooding a real risk according to the city and they offered some tips to help prepare.
The City of Winnipeg tips to protect homes and property from flooding:
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.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.Inspect backup valves and sump pump drainage systems to make sure they are functioning properly.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.