Monday, April 20, 2009

Red River Flood Watch - Latest Update April 20 - Winnipeg, Manitoba and area

Greatest threat over but widespread flooding in Red River Valley a challenge to many Manitoba towns -

While the City of Winnipeg has escaped the worst of the flooding, the rising Red River continues to assault many Manitoba communities to the north of the city as well as in Southwest Manitoba. Many outlying towns are still in need of volunteers to help with sandbagging and dike repair.

We've been tracking the flooding Red River here on the Canada News blog since March 28th as Fargo, North Dakota faced the first evacuations due to the cresting river and ice jams started to cause difficulties in Winnipeg. Our focus has been on volunteerism and providing links for locals and others to volunteer with flood fighting efforts. I work for Project417 and we've helped organize volunteer teams since 2005 following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the gulf coast. Since we've been posting the Red River updates both here and over at the MissionLog site, more than five thousand visitors have viewed the updates and followed links to related stories.

To date Project417 has not been mobilized by our partner in disaster response the Salvation Army of Canada - the flood situation in both North Dakota and our neighbours in Manitoba has been responded to admirably by local emergency response personnel and volunteers with no need to call in outside teams as yet. We'll continue to track the need here with weekily updates and we remain on call should the need for our volunteers become urgent.

Recent Red River Flood facts - Manitoba
The levels on the Red River, while not as high as 1997, the year of terrible flooding in Manitoba, is still setting records this year with floods and levels the second worst in recorded history, since the late 1800's.
At some points the Red River, overflowing its banks is more than 19 kms wide (12 miles)
Widepread flooding washing out over the surrounding low Southern Manitoba landscape covers more than 850 square kilometres (500 sq.mi)
Even though I'll be switching to weekly updates on the Red River Flood watch, there are many other great sources of up to date news on the flooding, both in the Winnipeg area and still in North Dakota, which is facing a second crest of flood waters. If you have any other good sources or volunteer stories, comment on the blog here and I'll post them.

Flood Watch links -

City of Winnipeg - Emergweb (or in local Winnipeg area call 311)
Province of Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization EMO
Winnipeg Free Press online
CBC Manitoba Flood Watch 2009
Fargo, North Dakota Inforum online
In the Blogs -
The MissionLog (mirrors this site with other volunteer updates and homelessness news)
Winnipeg blogger chrisD.ca
Project417.com - breaking news
Latest photos - The Winnipeg Free Press on Flickr

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