Flood warnings in effect for Sandy Bay, Pukatawagan, Leaf Rapids and others

Flood warnings are in effect for Sandy Bay, Pukatawagan, Granville Lake, Leaf Rapids, Cormorant and The Pas after a rainy, wet summer has forced northern rivers past their normal banks.

As of July 30, the Manitoba Hydrologic Forecast Centre (HFC) forecast information map shows flood warnings are currently in place for several communities near Flin Flon in northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba. Sandy Bay, Pukatawagan, Leaf Rapids and Granville Lake are each under flood warnings and the Churchill River system is already past its normal banks in all four locations.

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According to the HFC and the federal Water Survey of Canada, the water level of the Churchill River at Sandy Bay is now over 10 metres, more than two and a half metres higher than normal levels. The river is higher than it has ever been before, flooding portions of the Island Lake dam according to reports from the community.

The HFC data also says the river is flowing at 2,370 cubic metres per second - well over the river's listed bankfull capacity of 1,520. The river is expected to peak August 4 and rise to 10.29 metres - another nine inches or so past its current level - and rush up to 2,460 cubic metres per second.

In Pukatawagan, further along the Churchill River system, Highrock Lake has now reached its normal bankfull capacity, with the water level hitting 276 metres July 30. Further up the system at Granville Lake and at Leaf Rapids, levels have also increased past bankfull capacity, currently sitting more than a metre over typical capacity.

Several lakes in northern Saskatchewan, including Amisk Lake, Jan Lake and Deschambault Lake, are being called "areas of increasing concern" for high water levels after recent heavy rain. The WSA expects water levels from 2017 will be surpassed in each of the three lakes, with levels possibly reaching higher than they have for nearly five decades.

The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) expects there to be "scattered showers over southern areas of Saskatchewan's boreal forest" Thursday, with as much as 10 millimetres of rain expected. Following those showers, five days of dry weather is expected.

Further south in Manitoba, flood warnings are in effect for both the Carrot River and the North Saskatchewan River in The Pas, as well as Cormorant Lake. The water level at all three locations has now gone past the lake's normal boundaries. 

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