A recent winter storm in the United States and significant snow accumulation this winter have combined to increase the chance of spring flooding in Manitoba this year. Currently, Manitoba Infrastructure is forecasting a risk of major spring flooding in the Red River Valley, which could hit levels similar to the 2009 flood event. Below-normal temperatures during the winter months have also resulted in thicker than normal ice, increasing the risk of flooding due to ice-jams. Many variables (snow falls, melt rates, etc.) will continually change as spring approaches and may change Manitoba’s flood forecast, however municipalities and businesses are encouraged to prepare for the possibility for overland flooding in order to reduce the risk of losses.


Flood Pre-Planning
  • Ensure that your Emergency Response Plan is up-to-date
  • Move furniture and equipment out of basement to higher levels
  • Electrical equipment should be elevated or relocated to a location less likely to be flooded
  • Interior flood walls could be built around utilities
  • Ensure electronic information and records are backed up and stored at safe off-site location
  • Make arrangements to move stock, equipment and records from lower levels to safe higher ground or to an offsite location if flood risk rises
  • Remove all hazardous materials to prevent the risk of pollution of flood waters


Preparing Your Buildings
  • Clear sewer drain lines to ensure water from weeping tiles can drain away
  • Install a sewer back flow valve, if not equipped, and check to ensure it is operating
  • Install a pit and sump pump if time allows
  • Extend roof drain pipes well away from the building
  • Raise ground around building to keep water away from the building
  • Seal and water proof lower level windows and be prepared to cover with sand bags if needed
  • Buildings in low lying area should be surrounded with a flood wall or an earthen berm
  • Keep materials like sandbags, plastic sheets, plywood and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing


It is important that municipalities stay in contact with provincial departments leading up to and during a flood event. Visit the Government of Manitoba’s website for up-to-date flood forecasts and announcements. For more information on flood preparation strategies contact our Risk Management Advisors at 1-800-665-8990.


This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions, as the authors or contributors, do not accept liability or responsibility for any loss arising out of reliance on this information.

Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions

Insurance Done Differently.

Learn More