Tag Archives: highway 5

Spruce Woods Park Flood Report July 2 to 4, 2014

FLOOD JULY 2 to 4 2014 pics 043

Reid Dickie

JULY 9 UPDATE

Just back from three days of flood recon with plenty to report about Spruce Woods Park. The picture above of the Hwy #5 bridge over the Assiniboine says it all, as of today.

However, this is a volatile situation with a surge of water coming down the Assiniboine River from Saskatchewan. No one is sure about the size or the speed of the surge but everyone is repairing. I spoke with parks people this afternoon and, to get this posted asap, I’ve bulleted the status points.

  • From the south Highway #5 is closed due to water over the road near the park;
  • Park access from the south is via a gravel detour off Hwy #5 that leads to the upper campgrounds and yurt area of the park, neither of which are being effected by the flood at this time. It’s the same detour used in 2011;
  • Park access from the north via Hwy #5 is open today including the road to Kiche Manitou campgrounds. This access is most likely to change if the flood is severe. The situation is rapidly developing;
  • The lower campground, bays 1 – 7, was evacuated on Wednesday morning as a precaution and remains closed at least until July 8;
  • The day use area has been closed as a precaution and some of the interpretive centre moved to the campground office;
  • The artists festival scheduled for this weekend at Spruce Woods Park has been cancelled due to uncertainty about the river;
  • The horse-drawn covered wagon rides to the dunes and punch bowl are accessible, working and in business. This is a memorable family experience;
  • Trails in the park are hikable including Spirit Sands/Punch Bowl, Hogs Back though Isputinaw, Epinette and Spring Ridge may have impassable low wet spots;
  • Marsh Lake remains at its normal level but there is water running into it from the river now. Its trail has many low-lying areas that will become very wet;
  • The Assiniboine River was measured this afternoon at the bridge in Spruce Woods and had risen somewhat in the last 24 hours;
  • If you go for a hike in the park watch for two glorious wildflowers in bloom right now. The wild rose, its pink cheeks beaming shyly from the greenery, are blooming as are the tiger-faced field lilies. Poison ivy abounds, especially around stairs and in shady spots along trails. Wear sensible shoes;
  • Everything that bites and flies is there. Protect yourself and do a full-body tick check on yourself and everyone with you after every hike.

Depending on the surge I plan to travel out to Spruce Woods next week for more recon.

I have uploaded to my YouTube channel a video report about the flooding at Spruce Woods. I’ve added a video about flooding in other Manitoba areas and a third video on the state of some of the rivers feeding the Assiniboine.

Any questions email me at linreid@mts.net

Stay tuned. Stay dry.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flood, Parks, spirit sands

Spruce Woods Park Is Flooding…

Reid Dickie

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. JULY 2011 YURT PICTURES 084

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Bridges, Flood, Natural Places, Parks

Yo Mama Wears Brown Shoes With Laces!

Along Highway #5 on the outskirts of Neepawa is a Manitoba first!

DAVID WATSON 014

1 Comment

Filed under Humour

Spruce Woods Park Update – August 12

Reid Dickie

Friday, August 12, 2011

Manitoba Hwy 5 is now open through Spruce Woods Park but there is limited access to park facilities and trails. When I drove through the newly-opened highway today I was horrified by the damage the little park suffered from the raging Assiniboine River. The shape and tenure of the park has been changed by the waters, the ongoing unknowable script of Nature writ new and large on a familiar landscape.

Marsh Lake access has been restored, the area mowed but the trail is flooded and closed; the picnic area is covered in grey flood goo. It feels under repair. The entrance to Spirit Sands trailhead is still washed out but there are piles of materials to rebuild the entrance and give access to the sacred place again…a miracle waiting to happen. The lower Kiche Manitou campground is still flooded and the access road is closed due to a major washout. The upper campground and yurt area is accessible by a detour route. I feel more hopeful for the park than I did on my last visit in mid July. It is very encouraging to see the highway is now open. I shot this video of the area today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Tripping, Earth Phenomena, Flood, Natural Places, Sacred Places, Spirit, spirit sands

Spruce Woods Provincial Park Flood Update – June 24, 2011

Reid Dickie

There has been little change in the status of Spruce Woods Provincial Park since my last update. Most of the park’s amenities remain closed and inaccessible due to flooding, including Spirit Sands and Punchbowl, Ispuitinaw Trail, Marsh Lake, the lower area of Kiche Manitou Campground, concession stand and canoe campground.

The upper campground and yurts at Kiche Manitou Campground are open and accessible with the parks call centre taking reservations. Access to these campground sites is only via Hwy #2 from the south, but not the Trans Canada Highway. This map shows the detour. By the way, for the third year in a row, there is no entry fee to visit Manitoba’s provincial parks. They are free! Great deal! Camping fees still apply.

There’s not much to do this year at Spruce Woods but a few of the trails are open or partially open. Using Carberry and TCH access from the north, Epinette Creek is partially open, that is to cabin #2 and Juniper Loop but the trail is closed at start of Tamarack Loop. Arriving from the south, the Hogs Back Trail is open, Spring Ridge Trail is partially open with some flooded sections. This trail has been expanded. Warning signs are posted. The Trans Canada Trail east of upper campground is open, equestrian trails are open with some sections flooded and the main equestrian campground is open.

The prognosis for the park reopening is not good. Ominously, the Souris River joins the Assiniboine just upstream from Spruce Woods and, with the volume of water rolling down the Souris today, it is conceivable Highway #5 through the park will remain closed for the summer, and, depending on the extent of damage, possibly for the year. Though the bridge is still holding, there is massive wash-out of the highway on either side.

As one who hikes Spirit Sands at least a dozen times every summer, I’m having hiker withdrawal this year not being able to walk the land. Linda’s beautiful photographs of the sands in this post will have to do for now. The Assiniboine has probably inundated the low-lying Punchbowl but the sands themselves are at a much higher elevation and escape flooding. I’m imagining how pristine and pure the untrodden dunes must be, how delicately the rivulets of water have drawn their paths down the sloping trails and how the log ladders are buried from disuse.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ancient Wisdom, BEAUTY, Carberry, Family, Flood, Linda, Natural Places, Parks, Sacred Places, Spirit, spirit sands

Kiche Manitou Campground Update, June 2, 2011

Reid Dickie

I just received the following email from Manitoba Parks regarding the status of the lower campground and infrastructure at Kiche Manitou Campground in Spruce Woods Provincial Park.

Dear Camping Customer:

The campground closure for Kiche Manitou Lower Campground in Spruce
Woods Provincial Park has been extended to include the remainder of the 2011
camping season. 

Buildings and infrastructure have been submerged by flood waters for
nearly two months.  Now in early June, water levels have still not fully
receded.  Clean-up and re-building is expected to be substantial.  The upper
level campground that includes nightly campsites, yurts and group use will
continue to be in operation.

Customers with existing reservations in the lower campground may
cancel or make changes on-line at manitobaparks.com or contact our call centre
directly at 1-888-482-2267 or in Winnipeg at 948-3333.  

We truly regret the inconvenience that these closures may mean to
your holiday plans, but feel it is our responsibility to let you know as soon as
possible so that you might make alternative arrangements.  If we can be of any
assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us through our call centre or at
945-4344.

We appreciate your patience; and, as always we look forward to seeing
you in one of our provincial parks in 2011! 

Yours truly,

Manitoba Parks

Highway access to Spruce Woods Provincial Park is still closed as Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure tries to keep ahead of road closures and repairs. It will be at least two more weeks before the highway reopens. Park attractions like Spirit Sands, Punchbowl and hiking trails all remain closed and off-limits due to flooding.

For the latest information, check Manitoba highway closures and conditions on an interactive map here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flood, Natural Places, Parks, Sacred Places