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Storm Rips Through Manitoba

April 4, 2010 — Manitoba was pummelled with snow and rain on Friday, spiking fears that homeowners may have their basements flooded.

It may be summer-like across eastern Ontario, but Old Man Winter is still hanging around Manitoba. On Friday, residents in Winnipeg, Brandon and Morris found themselves right smack in the middle of serious rain, snow and even hail!

Meanwhile, in northern Manitoba, Gillam saw 8 centimeters blanket the ground. And more snow was added to the mix on Saturday. Winnipeg saw snow showers throughout the day, but there were no real accumulations. The heavier stuff blew through Northern Manitoba. On a good note, temperatures have been fairly mild, and some regions even got up to the double digits.

Meanwhile, Friday's rain and snowfall is raising the threat of floods in southern Manitoba. Winnipeg has even warned homeowners of a risk of basement flooding.

City officials say that during periods of high river levels, normal sewer system capacity is greatly reduced. More rain could increase the risk of sewers backing up house sewer lines and flowing into basements, especially those not protected by sub-pumps and backwater valves.

'Our sewer system doesn't drain that well under these conditions,' said Grant Mohr, the city's land drainage and flood protection engineer.

20 temporary pumps have been set up in low-lying areas to help move the rainwater. However, 'If the land drainage system fills up with water, water spills out on the street and then it gets into our wastewater manholes, and that's how basements get flooded,' explains Mohr.

It's expected that 34 permanent flood pumping stations will be in operation and that some raw sewage might be drained into the Red River.

It's being suggested that homeowners prepare for the onslaught of rain by extending their eavestrough downspouts away from basement walls.

The rain is expected to raise the Red Riverís crest. The floodway gates will be pulled higher to divert more water, and part of Highway 75 could be shut down for several days.

For more details on what kind of weather conditions you can expect in southern Manitoba this week, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV.

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