News Manitoba

Floodgates open on Lake St. Martin

QMI Agency

An emergency channel has begun draining floodwater from Lake St. Martin and Lake Manitoba, but the flood fight is not over.

The emergency channel should minimize the risk of severe spring flooding next year, premier Greg Selinger said Wednesday.

But he reiterated plans to compensate flood victims and build an extended reach of the channel from Buffalo Creek to Lake Winnipeg.

An 'Enormous Undertaking'

"Building this channel was an enormous undertaking completed in a very short period of time," Selinger said. "This emergency project will allow us to drain water from Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin through the winter to get people back in their homes sooner and minimize the risk of severe spring flooding next year."

The 6.5-km channel provides another outlet for Lake St. Martin to drain into Lake Winnipeg. It will also allow excess water to flow from Lake Manitoba as the Fairford Dam will be kept open all winter.

The additional Buffalo Creek channel into Lake Winnipeg would help ease spring breakup and ice-jam related flooding along the Dauphin River, Selinger said. It was listed as a possible component in the original cost estimates, he said.