Several campgrounds in the Whiteshell remain closed due to high waters. And, Manitoba Environment, Climate and Parks is carefully watching this week's forecast as more rain could be coming.
An overland flood watch has been issued for parts of central, southern and southwestern Manitoba. Forecasts indicate increased potential for thunderstorms this week that could bring a significant amount of high-intensity rain in a short time. Provincial parks already experiencing wet conditions in these regions may be impacted resulting in additional closures.
Road closures remain in Duck Mountain, Nopiming and Whiteshell provincial parks. Park visitors are reminded to obey road and trail closures and not attempt to drive through flooded areas or across damaged bridges.
In Whiteshell Provincial Park, access on Provincial Road (PR) 307 starting from the west park gate at Seven Sisters and past Sylvia Lake, Eleanor Lake, Otter Falls, Dorothy Lake, Barrier Bay and Nutimik Lake is open only for permanent residents, cottagers and people staying at resorts. All recreation sites remain closed in this area including campgrounds, group-use areas, picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, boat launches and beaches. PR 307 will remain restricted to local traffic only until water levels recede and repairs are made to safely reopen. The Otter Falls, Opapiskaw, Dorothy Lake, Nutimik Lake, Betula Lake and White Lake campgrounds will remain closed until at least June 30 but could be extended further.
The Betula Lake area remains fully closed due to significant flood waters that continue to make access points impassable. No person shall reside in or enter the Betula Lake closure area. The closure area continues to apply to the cottage subdivision, commercial areas, campgrounds, group use, day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails and beaches in and around Betula Lake.
The following Whiteshell water routes remain closed: the Caddy Lake Tunnels, Whiteshell River between White Lake and Betula Lake, and the campsites above Lamprey Falls on the Winnipeg River. Travel is not recommended above Lamprey Falls. All other backcountry campsites and canoe routes are open including the Mantario Trail.
Birch Point Provincial Park campground and boat launch will remain closed until at least June 30. Water levels are still rising on Lake of the Woods causing overland flooding in the park.
In Nopiming Provincial Park, Bird Lake campground will open June 17 but some campsites will remain closed from wet conditions. The Beresford Lake campground will reopen June 17 for seasonal campers and June 24 for nightly camping. Black Lake campground and boat launch, Shoe Lake backcountry sites and Tulabi Falls walk-in backcountry sites will remain closed until June 24. All other backcountry sites are open. Beresford Lake and Long Lake are only accessible from the north on PR 304 via Bissett. Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure is advising PR 314 will remain closed at the Manigotagan River for an extended period.
Rainbow Beach Provincial Park will reopen for beach and day use only but the campground remains closed due to ongoing wet conditions. Water levels on Dauphin Lake remain very high and any strong northern winds could cause additional overland flooding in the park.
While the Winnipeg River has crested, flood waters are not expected to recede for some time. Manitoba Parks is working in conjunction with Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure on implementing a phased safe reopening as water levels recede.
Watercraft users are reminded restrictions are in place on lakes in Nopiming and Whiteshell provincial parks to limit erosion and property damage from boat wakes along flooded shorelines.
Beach users in Nopiming and Whiteshell are advised to use caution as swim buoy lines have not yet been installed in all designated swim areas and there may be submerged debris in swim areas. Crescent Beach at West Hawk Lake is closed.
Reservation holders and seasonal campers will be contacted and their fees refunded if their campsite is affected by a closure. Campers should not pre-emptively cancel reservations before being notified of a site closure, otherwise cancellation policies will apply. Closures may be extended if flooding and wet conditions continue.