Red River seen flooding in Manitoba

Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:53pm EST
 
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Southern parts of the western Canadian province of Manitoba, a key spring wheat growing area, may see significant flooding from the Red River, the provincial government said on Monday.

Flood levels would be 0.3 to 0.9 meter (1-3 feet), lower than last year, assuming normal weather through spring.

Unfavorable weather could cause flood levels of 0.3 meter, or 1 foot, higher than last year, the government said. The amount of precipitation and rate of melting will determine the extent of flooding, it said.

The Red River runs north from North Dakota through flat land that is easily flooded. Major flooding is likely in North Dakota cities and towns along the Red River, the United States National Weather Service said on Friday.

Flooding last year damaged hundreds of North Dakota homes, forcing hundreds more to evacuate and leaving many U.S. farmers unable to plant crops. Most of Manitoba's portion of the Red River valley drained quickly enough last year to plant crops, however, high moisture levels created difficult conditions for farms in the Interlake area north of Winnipeg.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel; Editing by Marguerita Choy)