USA and Canada – Evacuations After Widespread Flooding in Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota

Heavy rain, snowmelt and ice jams have caused widespread flooding in parts of Manitoba Province, Canada, and neighbouring North Dakota and Minnesota, USA, since late April 2022.

Floods in Pembina County, North Dakota, USA, May 2022. Photo: Pembina County Emergency Management

Manitoba Province, Canada

The government of Manitoba reported that, since early April 2022, southern and southeastern Manitoba and the United States portion of the Red River basin have received 120 to 160 mm of precipitation, which is between 400 to 600 per cent of normal amounts.

In an update of 02 May 2022, the provincial government said, “Water levels are expected to remain high for an extended duration in many areas in southern and central Manitoba. In the Red River Valley, the province remains at a high state of readiness for water levels similar to 2009 spring flood levels on the Red River between Emerson and the Red River Floodway inlet.”

A flood warning is in place for the Red River from Emerson to the Red River Floodway inlet and from the Red River Floodway channel outlet to Lake Winnipeg. A flood warning remains in place for all Red River tributaries including the La Salle, Pembina and Boyne rivers and the Deadhorse, Shannon and Netley creeks.

Several communities throughout the province have been impacted by floods which have left roads impassable, and damaged homes and infrastructure. As a result, 18 communities have declared a local state of emergency, including Montcalm, Ritchot and Morris, where around 50 homes were issued with evacuation orders on 30 April, and Dufferin where at least 6 homes were evacuated on 01 May.

Ice jams along the Fisher River prompted a state of emergency for the Peguis First Nation on 28 April 2022. As of 02 May, as many as 1,000 people had evacuated. Roads, bridges and water infrastructure have all been adversely affected in the area and a boil water advisory has been issued.

Installation of temporary along the Fisher River in Peguis First Nation, Manitoba, Canada, after flooding from late April 2022. Photo: Peguis First Nation

North Dakota, USA

In North Dakota, the city of Valley City declared a flood emergency on 23 April 2022 due to the rising Sheyenne River. The river crested at 18.09 feet (5.514 metres) on 01 May, where Major Flood Stage is 17 feet (5.2 metres).

On 01 May the city of Harwood in North Dakota, declared a flood emergency due to the rising Sheyenne and Maple rivers. Meanwhile the city of Neche was completely cut off by flooding of the Pembina River on 02 May.

Evacuations were carried out in the city of Cavalier, where the North Dakota National Guard is using 2 helicopters to stabilize the Bourbanis dam that is in danger of breaking and causing further flooding.

A North Dakota National Guard helicopter stabilizing a dam in Cavalier, ND, USA, 03 May 2022. Photo: North Dakota National Guard
Levels of the Pembina River at Neche are above Major Flood Stage. Image: NWS

Minnesota, USA

In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz declared an emergency on 24 April 2022 and authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support for emergency flood operations following storms and heavy rainfall. Several roads were temporarily closed in some locations, including Highways 92, 113, 220 and 317. The Sorlie Bridge in East Grand Forks was also closed to traffic.

Flooding was reported in the city of Crookston and surrounding areas of Polk County after the Red Lake River broke its banks.

Red Lake River at Crookston. Image: NWS

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