Sunny weather doesn’t end Prairie flood risk

A period of relatively dry and sunny weather in eastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba between now and the weekend may allow overland water to pass, but doesn’t end the flood risk, agencies say.

A high pressure system has moved into Manitoba and is expected to bring sunnier weather for the next three days, the provincial government said Wednesday.

As temperatures rise, there could be sporadic thunderstorms due to high humidity and higher temperatures, the province warned.

Water levels on several rivers, creeks and streams in Manitoba’s Parkland, Interlake and southwest are still rising due to record weekend rainfall leading to significant overland flooding, the province said.

“The biggest issue now is when these creeks come together in the larger rivers and lakes, (there) will be some significant peaks,” Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency said in a notice Wednesday.

Record-high flows are reported on several streams and tributaries as well as high flows on larger rivers such as the Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris rivers, the Manitoba government said.

Round and Crooked Lakes, in Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle basin, are now expected to approach flood levels seen in 2011, which caused “significant” flooding problems for communities there, the WSA said.

Some flood storage capacity is now being used in Saskatchewan’s Alameda Reservoir to store water until downstream flood peaks have passed, the WSA said.

Outflows from Alameda were to be raised to 30 cubic metres per second on Wednesday afternoon for about the next two weeks, but the increased rate “should not cause any impacts to downstream users.”

Not surprisingly, the weather has taken a toll on crops in affected areas, the Manitoba government noted in its latest crop report Monday.

Symptoms of excess moisture stress, such as yellowing and slowed crop development, are “evident in many fields.” Crop death has also been noted in the most severely impacted areas, the province said.

The province said it expects further crop damage due to flooding and saturated soils, and excess moisture has also stymied herbicide and fungicide applications. Aerial applications have increased.

Manitoba’s CropChatter site has information on the recent stormy weather’s impact on corn crops, and on options for nitrogen application in wet cornfields.

Information is also available online about provincial road closures in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. — Network


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