Manitoba truckers at the mercy of Mother Nature

WINNIPEG — The spring can be a difficult time for truckers in Manitoba.

In the northern part of the province, the warmer temperatures turn the winter road system from ice to muck and can catch some motorists off the beaten path with nowhere to go.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the province, spring means rising water levels and the possibility highways will be washed out from flooding.

The latest report from Manitoba Water Stewardship’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre however, indicates southern Manitoba is benefiting from a slow melt and dry weather, with levels of predicted Red River crests now being lowered. While possible adverse weather over the next few weeks could still be a factor, this risk is diminishing as the crest nears.

A reduced crest coming from the U.S. and minor early flows from Manitoba tributaries will contribute to lower Red River crests in Manitoba.

The latest prediction is good news for truckers, who last week, according to local reports were facing a potential closure of 11 or 12 days for the main highway between the province and the U.S.

As well as Manitoba’s latest forecast report to stem flood talks, less water went through Fargo-Moorhead, N.B. as first feared when the Red River crested on March 21 below its predicted peak at just under 19 feet over flood stage, nearly four feet below last year’s record.

In Winnipeg, the Red River is predicted to peak at 19.5 feet, which is below last year’s crest of 22.5 feet and 1997’s crest of 24.5 feet.

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