Red River or Lake Manitoba?

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Sandra K (Grade 11)

Flood waters rose two to four feet higher than normal in the province of Manitoba last year. This year, we have twice as much snow as normal. What does this mean for Manitoba? Water... and lots of it. The coffee shop topic in the Winkler area is about how fast the snow will melt this year. The later it gets, the greater the chances of all the snow melting quickly, which leads to the question of exactly how much water we will have.

The main flood region of Manitoba is the Red River Valley. Southern Manitoba receives the runoff from North Dakota which, this year, has three times as much snow as last year.

Flood preparations are already being looked into by the Emergency Measures Organization. If flooding in areas is dangerously high or if a dike happens to break the Emergency Measures Organization evacuates the area and ensures that all people have enough food, clothing, lodging and drinking water. Myra Danielson, a Manitoba government employee who works with the Organization, says evacuation is not a worry unless a dike should happen to fail. In such an event, there may be need for some evacuations. Presently, the dikes in the major flood areas of the Red River Valley are being closely watched in case of any danger.

The question Manitoba farmers are asking now is when will they be able to get on the fields to start seeding? Last year, the farmers were only able to get on the fields in late May. If the snow takes its time melting, that could be the case again this year. The flood waters could do extreme harm to livestock and the harvested grain of last year if it is not properly looked after. The flood waters also threaten the soil of the flood area with the washing away of the rich soil.

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