CWB to move grain off Red River flood plain

The Canadian Wheat Board is moving to get farmers’ board grains out of southern Manitoba’s flood-prone Red River Valley ahead of spring thaw.

The board announced Monday that it will co-ordinate additional rail cars into the valley to clear space in elevators in the region for affected farmers to deliver accepted Series A and B grain.

The board said this advance call is meant to help over 400 area farmers “who may be in danger of losing their accepted, on-farm grain” as forecasters predict areas of the wide flood plain will see substantial water this spring.

The provincial government’s Feb. 19 spring flood outlook points to a high potential of spring flooding in the Red River Valley, similar to levels seen in 2006 or 1996, given average weather conditions. The CWB said its own weather and market analysis department also anticipates flooding in the valley.

Specifically, the forecasts predict flooding in the areas around Morris, about 50 km south of Winnipeg, and Letellier, about 25 km south of Morris.

While not as widespread, damaging to rural homes or threatening to Winnipeg property compared to the 1997 “flood of the century,” the 1996 and 2006 floods did put substantial acres underwater and covered parts of Highway 75, Winnipeg’s main route to North Dakota and Minnesota.

Affected farmers will be notified of the CWB’s advance call by letter, which the board said will likely be received the week of March 16.

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