Thin ice advisory issued for Manitoba rivers, lakes

Manitobans are being warned to keep off bodies of water as temperatures continue to rise across the province.

The province released a thin ice advisory Friday, warning of hazardous ice conditions on rivers, lakes, drainage ditches and retention ponds.

Read more: Risk of major flooding on Red River still high, but worst-case scenario outlook improved

“Daily temperatures are warming gradually and deteriorating ice thickness and strength,” reads a release from the Hydrologic Forecast Centre of Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure.

“While ice may appear like normal winter ice, it may be very thin and no longer support people and objects, such as snowmobiles and vehicles.”

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The province says snowmobilers and skiers should not venture onto rivers and lakes and warns that those living near waterways should prevent children and pets from going onto the ice.

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Temperatures have been creeping over the freezing mark across the province in recent days, with Environment Canada forecasting a high of 3 C in Winnipeg Friday.

Read more: Spring flood outlook shows high risk of major flooding along Red River

The province’s latest spring flood outlook released Thursday called for a high risk of moderate to major flooding in most southern Manitoba basins, but the worst-case scenario for the Red River has been improved.

If the province were to receive unfavourable weather conditions over the next few weeks, levels on the Red River would be similar to 2011.

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The province’s first report released last month projected that unfavourable weather conditions could lead to 2009 levels.

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Normal weather conditions would lead to 2020 levels on the Red, according to Thursday’s report.

Read more: Residents still reeling from Westman flood of 2020

There is a risk of moderate flooding on the Assiniboine and Souris rivers and tributaries while the risk of flooding in the Interlake and northern Manitoba is low.

Most of the major lakes are below normal levels for this time of year and are right around their operating ranges heading into the spring runoff.

— with files from Kevin Hirschfield 

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