issues surrounding the red river flood of 1997 n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Issues surrounding the Red River Flood of 1997 PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Issues surrounding the Red River Flood of 1997

Issues surrounding the Red River Flood of 1997

593 Views Download Presentation
Download Presentation

Issues surrounding the Red River Flood of 1997

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. Issues surrounding the Red River Flood of 1997

  2. Outline • Introduction • Impacts of the flood • Flood protection works • Manitoba Water Commission (MWC) • Current status • Next steps

  3. Introduction • Many factors combined to create the “Flood of the Century” • Above normal fall precipitation • Long, cold winter with near record snowfall • A major blizzard in early April added to the moisture and delayed the runoff • Flooding started in the US portion of the watershed and headed North

  4. Impacts of the Flood • Damages in the Canadian portion of the watershed totalled nearly $500 million • Losses in the US portion were even larger (for example, the community of Grand Forks) • At the peak of the event, nearly 28,000 Manitobans were evacuated from the flood zone • Many houses experienced extensive damages • Many residents were out of their homes for an extended period of time

  5. Flood Protection Works • The City of Winnipeg is protected by the Red River Floodway • Diverts water around the city • Further protection is provided by infrastructure on the Assiniboine River • Areas south of the city are protected by ring dikes around towns • Areas outside the ring dike communities rely on individual dikes

  6. Manitoba Water Commission • Was reconstituted following the 1997 flood to provide an independent review of activities during the flood event • Terms of reference included providing recommendations on: • The operation of flood control infrastructure • How the pattern of roads and railways affected runoff flow patterns • The level of preparedness of provincial and municipal governments • The accuracy and timeliness of flood forecasts

  7. Activities of the MWC • Learning process and familiarization with flood infrastructure • Public meetings at 10 locations throughout the valley totalling more than 40 hours of consultations • Technical investigations • Hired a consultant from out of province to do some modelling work • Reviewed reports prepared on behalf of interest groups • Final report submitted in July of 1998 • Contained 58 recommendations

  8. Issues presented to the MWC • Floodway was not operated in accordance with the rules of operation • Need for consultation in any changes to the rules • Impacts of the west dike and west dike extension • Lack of planning and inadequate level of emergency preparedness

  9. Issues presented to the MWC • Concerns over the mandatory evacuation order • Confusion over various disaster assistance programs and changes to the compensation policy • Lack of confidence in the forecasting • Insufficient warning provided of high water levels

  10. Outcome of Studies • The water levels during the 1997 flood were as much as 0.6 meters above “natural” levels • The magnitude of the increase was greatest in the vicinity of the floodway and was negligible around Morris • Ste. Agathe was flooded by overland flows from the west • The town would have flooded under natural conditions

  11. Outcome of Studies • Flooding in the Grande Pointe area can be attributed to backwater effects from the Red River • Road cuts had a limited and localized effect on water levels

  12. Recommendations from the MWC • Revision of floodway operation policy should be conducted in consultation with all impacted groups • Formal maintenance program for all flood protection infrastructure • Risk analysis study to form the basis of flood planning and flood proofing • Modelling to be use to determine the impact of all planned infrastructure

  13. Recommendations from the MWC • Development of an effective means of communicating flood forecasts • An integrated flood plan be developed • Floodplain zoning be reviewed and flood protection levels enforced

  14. Current Status • Provincial government increased compensation levels following the release of the MWC report • Still resulted in some residents having uncompensated losses • Province acted on some of the recommendations and indicated some required further study

  15. Current Status • MWC was disbanded • Unfortunately, there was not a mechanism in place to ensure follow-up on recommendations • A task force of the International Joint Commission (IJC) conducted studies of issues on both sides of the border • This activity ceased when the US decided not to fund this further

  16. Current Status • In 1999, a group of around 50 residents in the flooded area sued the provincial government for damages resulting from the operation of the floodway • Used the MWC report as part of the evidence of wrongdoing by the province • As a result of legal moves by the province, Don Burn became involved as an expert witness on behalf of the residents

  17. Current Status • The law suit dragged on for some time • The expert witness went to Winnipeg to be cross-examined by lawyers for the province in the summer of 2002 • The province hired a local consultant as their own expert witness • In November of 2003, the province asked the residents to settle by meditation • Most residents had settled their claims by spring of 2004

  18. Next Steps • The province is planning to expand the capacity of the floodway • The expanded floodway will increase the capacity from 2,550 m3/s to 4,000 m3/s • The project will involve the excavation of more than 30 million cubic metres of earth • Upgrades and improvements to twelve bridge crossings, the outlet structure, the West Dike, utilities and drainage services will all be required • Total cost is projected to be $700 Million

  19. Next Steps • The province recently passed legislation designed to provide compensation for artificial flooding caused by the operation of the floodway • Public consultations were held during the development of the legislation

  20. Next Steps • As part of the future plans, the province commissioned a study to determine the natural flows on the Red River • This will be used as a basis for determining amounts of compensation in the case of artificial flooding

  21. Postscript • The Fall of 2004 has been one of the wettest on record in Manitoba • If you live in Manitoba, hope for a dry winter!