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Manitoba flood officials don't want you to panic, which is why they're doing the panicking for you. And, boy, are they sweating bullets today.
If worse comes to worse, it's going to turn out we've concentrated flood preps on THE WRONG RIVER.
It's not the Red River we should be worrying about. IT'S THE ASSINIBOINE!
Municipal officials have been told on the QT that if things stack up the wrong way, Osborne Village and, maybe, downtown Winnipeg are going to be flooded. They're already planning for mass evacuations and helicopter rescues.
Blinded by Perimeteritis, Winnipeg reporters don't realize how serious the flood situation is along the Assiniboine. West of Winnipeg has been smacked by heavy snows all winter. Just last week a resident of Brandon, looking at the snow on the ground, reported "It's just like February here."
All that snow, not to mention what's coming from Saskatchewan, will drain into the Assiniboine, which flows into Winnipeg to join the Red River at the Forks. While the Winnipeg Floodway protects the city from water coming up the Red, it won't prevent the Red from rising to near-record levels. If it gets too high, the Assiniboine River will back up, causing massive flooding---including the low-lying parts of Winnipeg.
A big fear is the speed with which the river can rise.
Flood officials are afraid that people could go to work in the morning and be unable to get home in the afternoon because Osborne Village has been cut off by sudden-risen flood waters. And residents of apartment buildings along the river could find themselves isolated without warning.
The river ice has broken and river levels have shot up. And the forecast is for a weekend of rain. We're as interested as you are on how this will affect the flood threat .