Each year the city implements its standard spring high water preparedness plan and continuously monitors river levels to maintain the appropriate state of preparedness throughout the spring melt. 

This year has brought additional challenges due to the extreme weather events we have been experiencing that have raised water levels not only in the river (as expected), but overland and in the basements of some homes as well. 

The City’s primary focus is the safety of our citizens. This page has been created to give you the resources you need to prepare in case of emergency, keep you informed of the measures we are taking and the notify you of the impacts both potential and current to our community.

4:24 AM CDT Thursday 12 May 2022
Heavy rain likely with showers and/or thunderstorms on Thursday night.

A low pressure system moving northwards out of the United States will tap into very moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and produce heavy showers and thunderstorms. These will spread into the Red River Valley and southeast Manitoba later Thursday into Thursday evening.

While these showers and thunderstorms will be moving relatively quickly, they will have the potential to produce torrential downpours. Localized rainfall accumulations could quickly reach 20 to 40 mm, and localized accumulations in excess of 50 mm are possible by Friday morning.

There is still some uncertainty with the exact track these showers and thunderstorms will take. Please watch for updated forecasts and/or alerts as the system approaches.

Check HERE for updated forecasts and alerts.

The significant amount of water the spring storm events brought paired with the annual spring melt while the ground was still frozen and unable to absorb water caused for water to exceed the design capacity of our drainage system.

Selkirk was built with combined sewers – an old system where both stormwater and sewer systems are merged into one pipe. It’s been proven that combined sewers have a limited capacity during high rainfall events, and can be harmful to the environment, and people’s homes. 

In recent years, Selkirk, using its Capital Asset Management Program has been investing into separating the city’s sewer network. Separated Sewer Systems have two separate pipe systems. One set takes household and industrial waste to the wastewater treatment plant, and the other set of storm drain pipes routes rain water and snow melt from streets directly into the Red River, minimizing the impact on the city’s drainage system. 

Sewer separation is a critical objective of the city’s award-winning Climate Change Adaption Strategy (CCAS) but achieving full separation will take tens of millions of dollars over the coming years. By using our asset management program we’re creating opportunities to link this work with other projects therefore making it as cost-effective as possible. 

Basement water

This occurs when there are heavy rain events, rapid snowmelt and an abundance of water in the city’s sewer system. If it’s more water than the sewer system can handle, excess water can flow backward into your home’s sewer line and subsequently flow into your basement

Overland water

This can occur when water on the ground surface cannot be absorbed by the ground, does not have sufficient time or space to flow into drainage systems, or the river potentially causing water to cover roads and properties and in some cases seep into homes through the outside walls. 

It’s is impossible to predict whether or not your home is at risk so it’s best to make sure that the proper precautions have been taken to mitigate risk.

Protect your home
  • Raise items off the floor of your basement or garage to avoid water damage. 
  • Check your insurance policy to ensure that you have appropriate water damage coverage for your area. For more information on insurance please contact your provider.  
  • Make sure you have a sump pump and or backwater valve and that it is in working order. 
  • Check to make sure your eavestroughs are not clogged with leaves or debris and that down spouts are placed appropriately. 
  • Make sure your basement windows are sealed and that water wells are not full of debris. 

Sand and bags are always available to those who are in need during the high-water season. Supplies will be delivered directly to a home or to a central location where many comes could be or are being affected. 

Please call 204-785-4900. 

Sand and Dike Construction

*Poly is the responsibility of the homeowner

  • Pumps remain on site in areas that could be affected
  • Pumps have been serviced to ensure they are in top working order in advance of the next rain event. 
  • Drainage pipes have been left in place in case they are needed during the next rain event. 
  • Sand and bags are available upon request through 204-785-4900

PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE RIVER AND FAST FLOWING WATER IN DITCHES

Red River Level

The Red River is expected to crest in Selkirk end of April/beginning of May.

Heavy rain could impact water levels here. 

The City has long been prepared and does not have any concerns at this time. 

Standard Annual Preparedness

  • Continuous monitoring of river levels and incoming flows. 
  • Ensuring the Municipal Emergency Plan is up to date. 
  • Preparing the waterfront by removing items that could be swept away (lighting, bins, etc)
  • Closure of valves throughout the city to avoid backflow form the river. 
  • Ongoing pumping operations throughout the city to alleviate overland water.
  • Dikes monitored to ensure they are structurally sound.

Current Impacts:

Personal Preparedness

Preparedness For Your Home 

Warmer temperatures, rain and snowmelt in Manitoba can have a number of effects on your home as ground water rises and spring thaw begins to flow. 

Here are some ways you can help prepare your home for the effects of water in spring: 

  • Raise items off the floor of your basement or garage to avoid water damage. 
  • Check your insurance policy to ensure that you have appropriate water damage coverage for your area. For more information on insurance please contact your provider.  
  • Make sure you have a sump pump and or backwater valve and that it is in working order. 
  • Check to make sure your eavestroughs are not clogged with leaves or debris and that down spouts are placed appropriately. 
  • Make sure your basement windows are sealed and that water wells are not full of debris.

Preparing your Family for High Water Events

  • Have an emergency kit ready to go. For more information on how to build an emergency kit click here
  • Secure important items such as house information, certificates and family photos in a waterproof area off the floor. 
  • It only takes 6 inches of water to knock an adult off their feet. Be sure to be safe around standing water as you may not know the depth or current beneath the surface.  

Preparedness For Your Pet

If you have pets in your home it’s important to include them in your family’s emergency preparedness plan and you may want to consider creating them their own specialized emergency kit. Animal emergency kits may include:

  • food and medication
  • pet license and vaccination information
  •  familiar items for your pet such as a toy or blanket
  • A photo of you and your pet in case you are separated

For more information on how to keep your pet safe click here. 

Resources