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Ice-breaking begins on the Red River

March 10, 2010 — Two Amphibex ice-breaking machines are now actively cutting up the frozen Red River in Manitoba.

With Manitoba's flood season looming, the province has deployed two Amphibex ice-breaking machines to the Red River north of Selkirk.

The idea is to break up the ice to prevent jams, which would then lead to overflowing river banks. The ice-cutting machines break a channel to allow the water to flow into Lake Winnipeg.

Last year, ice jams led to one of Manitoba's worst flood seasons on record.

This year, the ice is thinner, which is helping in the ice-breaking effort.

In February, provincial flood forecasters predicted that spring runoff into the Red River would be above normal in the south, especially between the communities of Emerson and Morris. Forecasters say flooding north of Morris to Winnipeg will be closer to average.

South of the border, the chances of major flooding in parts of Minnesota and North Dakota have been projected at about 90 per cent. Last year's flooding in those regions caused an estimated $100 million in damage.

For more details on the current forecast in southern Manitoba, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV. Your National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

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