by Charis Kehler
The Red River flood of 1979 should have been even more devastating than the infamous flood of 1950, but because of the Red River Floodway and ring dikes protecting rural areas, it was one of the least harmful major floods in Manitoba history.
The flood of 1979 was predicted to crest approximately two feet higher than the flood of 1950, putting its crest at around ten meters at St James Ave in Winnipeg. However, the Red River Floodway helped to divert the floodwater, keeping the crest at 5.8 m. The ring dikes around rural communities and some larger rural properties helped to save many more homes, farms, and businesses.
Flooding in the US was higher than in 1950 and yet Winnipeg sustained less damage in 1979.
The floodway helped to divert the floodwater and kept the crest at 5.8 metres.
The eight ring dikes built in the 1960s have never failed to protect the communities they surround.