Stay safe: Winter weather expected through Thanksgiving

October 10, 2019

Large university building in winter.
Clark Hall at Brandon University in winter.

A significant weather event is approaching southern Manitoba. Heavy rain, snow, freezing rain, strong winds and freezing temperatures are expected starting today and lasting through the weekend. Full details are below, as well as strategies that you can employ to stay safe.

With many people travelling over the Thanksgiving weekend, please stay alert for changing conditions and monitor forecasts and highway reports.

Brandon University will be closed Monday, Oct. 14 for Thanksgiving. At this time, we do not anticipate any further campus closures or class cancellations, however we will continue to monitor the situation and will alert the community as quickly as possible if they become necessary. News of campus closures will be emailed to your BrandonU.ca email address, posted online at BrandonU.ca, shared through social media and the BSafe app, and sent to local media.

Details

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) reports the possibility of heavy precipitation in southern and central Manitoba. Precipitation will begin to intensify over southern Manitoba by the morning of Thursday October 10. There is a risk of heavy rain, snow, freezing rain, strong winds and freezing temperatures. Most areas of Manitoba are expected to transition to snow by early Saturday October 12. Heaviest precipitation will begin to taper off by Monday October 14 with a chance of flurries and/or showers persisting until Thursday October 17. This precipitation will fall on already saturated soil. The map displays total accumulations of precipitation/snow to Monday, October 14 at noon.

Levels on rivers, creeks and lakes in southern Manitoba continue rise. Manitoba Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre (HFC) has issued a high water advisory for southeastern Manitoba and Whiteshell Lakes. Due to expected high winds, HFC has issued high wind effect warnings for the south basin of Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg, Dauphin Lake and for Winnipegosis.

Manitoba Hydro reports that heavy, wet snow combined with fall foliage could result in broken tree branches, potentially impacting electrical infrastructure. Quickly falling temperatures will cause rain to freeze on power lines, poles and transformers which can result in power outages and damage to Manitoba Hydro infrastructure. Poor travel conditions will result in increased response times and slow power restoration activities.

To lower Red River levels in the City of Winnipeg HFC reports the Red River Floodway may be activated as early as Wednesday evening. This floodway operation may cause artificial flooding for property owners upstream of the floodway control structure. 

ECCC will continue to issue weather related watches and warnings as required.

Up to date road information is available at www.mb511.ca. 

You may want to consider the following preparedness activities:

  • Having an emergency kit. Information about what should be in a kit can be found athttps://www.gov.mb.ca/emo/prepare/kit.html.
  • Store warm clothes and blankets where they can be accessed easily.
  • Ensuring that furnaces are working properly in case of a sudden drop in temperature.
  • Ensuring sufficient fuel is on hand for generators in case of a prolonged power outage and practice proper safety procedures.
  • Consider winter or all season tires for vehicles and drive to the conditions. Roads may be slippery as a result of snow, ice and wet foliage. Avoid driving if conditions are unfavourable.
  • Be aware of surroundings. Watch for downed trees or damaged power lines that have fallen as the result of high winds or accumulated ice.
  • Keep fridge and freezer doors closed in the event of a power outage.
  • Check on people that may need a little extra help such as the elderly and those with small children by phone or in person if it is safe to do so.
  • When walking outside after an ice storm use extreme caution to avoid slips and falls.