I took this picture of flood debris pushing against the highway sign in Spruce Woods Park on July 24, 2014.
According to the Manitoba Provincial Parks website, Spruce Woods is slowly regaining accessibility and use. Hwy #5 is open with one-lane traffic through the park.
Trails are accessible now including the Spirit Sands and the wagon rides. Marsh Lake is high and its trail is closed.
The lower Kiche Manitou campground is closed as is the interpretive centre and the access road. A detour has been set up that takes you to the upper campground and yurt area. The detour is about two miles south of the park.
Looks like Spruce Woods Park will be partially open for the summer long weekend.
Watch my 2 minute video report from the park on July 24.
What news there is appears to be good!
According to the latest daily flood update from the province the water over Highway #5 has receded and the highway has been reopened. Repair crews are working on the highway.
Apparently damage to the rest of Spruce Woods Park is minimal. The ice jam that caused the back-up remains on the Assiniboine River but for now poses less of a threat. As the rivers break-up more ice jams are likely.
The high water advisory remains for the Assiniboine from St. Lazare, where it is joined by the Qu’Appelle River, to Portage la Prairie. Overland flooding due to ice jams is possible along the river. While the Red River appears to be comfortable between its banks so far this year, that pesky Assiniboine, unpredictable and bendy, is full of surprises. Be aware.
The Portage Diversion is operating in an attempt to manage the ice on the lower Assiniboine.
The Whitemud River between Gladstone and Lake Manitoba is rising quickly and at the top of its bank in Gladstone. Area residents need to heed the high water advisory and be vigilant for flash flooding.
So far daytime temperatures are well below normal and below freezing. This is will slow the melt rate and possibly mitigate the run-off. Seasonal temperatures are predicted for later in the week.
Today’s flood update from the province completely ignores the current status of the Souris River, one of the rivers mostly likely to flood, and what’s happening in The Pas. These are two areas the province knows will flood. Where’s the info?
More updates to come…
JULY 2014 UPDATE: HERE
Today the province released its second daily flood update and little Spruce Woods Park appears to be flooding again.
An ice jam upstream from the park caused the Assiniboine River to rise seven feet overnight. Its waters now overflow Highway 5 which is closed for 2 kms in both directions from the bridge. The update says, “Maintenance crews have been dispatched to investigate where the ice jam is located, if it is in an accessible location ice jam mitigation action may be undertaken.” Let’s hope so.
If its flowing over the highway the water is also making its way along the ditches toward the access road into the Spirit Sands trail head and Marsh Lake north of the river and the oxbows to the south. Hopefully it won’t spill over into the lower campground as it did in 2011’s flood. The campground has been repaired over the past two years and just reopened last summer.
If I can get out there next week I’ll report from the park. Below is a picture of how Highway 5 looked after the 2011 flood in Spruce Woods Park.
Several secondary roads have been closed due to flooding. You can find current information at http://www.gov.mb.ca/mit/roadinfo/
Otherwise the province has issued a High Water Advisory meaning ice jams along Manitoba rivers, which are just starting to break up, could cause sudden overland flooding. Be especially alert if you live near the Assiniboine or Whitemud.
People living near Whitewater Lake in southwestern Manitoba should know the lake is at a record high level this spring. Provincial hydrologists are monitoring the lake’s outflow carefully. Be alert for possible overland flooding near the lake.
Southern Manitoba received a heavy wet snowfall today. Thankfully it didn’t amount to the 10 cms predicted but there is a fresh coat of snow itching to melt and drain. Areas around Riding Mountain received more snow than southern regions.
The daily flood updates can be accessed at http://www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/news_bulletins.html