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Dike repair cuts Manitoba flood risk

May 20, 2011 at 11:02 AM

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 20 (UPI) -- A leak in a Manitoba canal has been patched up, somewhat lessening flood dangers, a provincial official says.

Emergency Measures Organization Minister Steve Ashton told the Winnipeg Free Press the breach in the west bank of the Portage Diversion was filled in Thursday. The diversion channels excess water from the Assiniboine River north into Lake Manitoba.

As the crest moves through Headingley and Winnipeg, flows above 20,000 cubic feet per second will continue through the end of May, Ashton said.

"We're not out of the woods yet," he warned.

Ashton also said the province will continue a controlled release of the Assiniboine, intentionally flooding farmland to relieve pressure on the river's dikes and the diversion.

"We will stop that controlled release as soon as we can," he pledged.

Emergency official Chuck Sanderson said 100 soldiers are helping residents of the shores of Lake Manitoba sandbag their homes.

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