Whiteshell Provincial Park: June 24, 2022
The state of local emergency remains in place due to high water levels throughout the park and expires July 18. Manitoba Parks is continuously evaluating the situation and will rescind the order if it is no longer required. A 6km section of PR307 from south of the Nutimik Lake Transfer Station road to just north of Betula Lake Block 4 remains closed to all traffic due to high waters at the Heart Lake/ Rennie River crossing.
Access to Betula Lake subdivision is from the south only (through Rennie and past White Lake). Park users can expect to travel through floodwaters. Anyone travelling through the flood waters should travel to local conditions, plan to travel during daylight hours and be aware that conditions may change with environmental factors like precipitation and wind.
All remaining park areas along PR 307 from the west park gate to the junction of PR307 and 309 are only open to permanent residents, cottagers, and public staying in the resorts. Recreational infrastructure remains closed in this area including boat launches, campgrounds, group use, day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, and beaches.
Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure is continuing ongoing repairs of PR307 and PR309 throughout the north Whiteshell. Please use caution, follow all signs, drive slowly, and drive to conditions when coming up to or passing road work crews. Manitoba Parks recommends giving yourself extra time when planning any travel in this area.
Portions of the road were gravelled to raise the road grade above the flood water. Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure is working to remove the emergency gravel road and restore regular access to this portion of the park. We expect this work to be completed early next week and then can provide additional information about the re-opening of park infrastructure.
Dorothy, Opapiskaw, and Nutimik water fill stations and pump houses may be operating under a boil water order until the water tests safe for consumption. Please pay attention to onsite signs and consider bringing drinking water with you while staying in the park.
Manitoba Hydro is released their 7-14 day forecast for the Winnipeg River today (June 24). Please see https://www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/facilities/water_levels/. The Winnipeg River has crested and is slowly receding, but is expected to remain high for the next number numbers of weeks.
Other lakes throughout the park (Falcon, West Hawk, Caddy, Jessica, White Lake, Betula) continue to drop but remain higher than normal. Manitoba Parks staff are working in conjunction with staff from the department of Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure to monitor lake levels and adjust control structures where possible.
Water is present on several block roads throughout the park. The following block roads are flooded, and barricaded, with the surface of the road very soft and saturated:
- Otter Falls – Block 1, Block 2-3, and Block 4
- Barrier Bay – Block 1
You may be able to access properties in this area by foot or canoe. Please do not block roads or driveways when parking a vehicle at these barricades.
Nutimik Lake Block 1, Jessica Lake Block 5-6-7-8, and White Lake Block 4 are open but should not be crossed in a smaller vehicles until the water recedes. Caution should be used when travelling through flooded areas.
Crescent Beach seawall at West Hawk is barricaded and closed. Pay attention to signage, and barricades. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly.
Cottagers and residents looking to dispose of sandbags can empty the sand into the piles at the original depot locations: the 8 Foot Falls Road in Pointe du Bois, Otter Falls Ball Diamond, Nutimik Boat Launch across from the maintenance yard, Jessica Lake at the garbage collection site, the parking lot across from Brereton Lake Resort, the West Hawk maintenance yard, and the causeway at Falcon Lake. Sand should not be dumped off docks or into waterbodies, as this is harmful to fish and other aquatic plants and animals.
General information about returning and cleaning up after a flood can be found online here: www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/spring_outlook/after_flood_booklet.pdf.
The following boat launches are closed: 8 Foot Falls, Big Creek, Otter Falls, Opapiskaw, Dorothy, Block 1 Nutimik, New Nutimik, White Lake, Betula, and South Shore Big Whiteshell. Public can expect open launches to be without docks, high water is preventing repair and placement of docks throughout the park.
To minimize potential erosion caused by boat wakes, recreational motor boat restrictions are in place. Recreational Motor Boat traffic is prohibited from operating within 100 metres of shorelines on West Hawk, Falcon, Caddy, Star, Jessica, White, Big Whiteshell, Betula, Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor, and the shoreline adjacent to the Pointe du Bois subdivision. The 100 metre restriction is no longer in place for Brereton Lake. When exiting or approaching the shoreline, boats should move directly out from land and avoid creating a wake. Please use caution and courtesy when boating. All boat traffic should be cautious of debris and items submerged below the surface. Extreme caution should be used with travelling the upstream portion of the Winnipeg River (Pointe du Bois to Lamprey Falls).
The following hiking trails are closed: Pine Point Rapids, Forester’s Footsteps, Bannock Point Petroforms, TCT from White Lake to the west park gate, red suspension bridge trail to Sturgeon Falls, and Hunt Lake Hiking Trail.
Backcountry routes and campsites are open throughout the park, with the exception of: the Whiteshell River between White Lake and the Winnipeg River, the campsites above Lamprey Falls on the Winnipeg River, and the Caddy Lake tunnels.
Otter Falls, Nutimik, Dorothy, Opapiskaw, and Betula Campgrounds are closed to both nightly and seasonal camping at this time. It is anticipated that seasonal campgrounds will open June 30, and nightly camping will open July 1 for these campgrounds. Individual bays are sites may have their closures extended based on site conditions or facility damage. Seasonal campers will be emailed directly once we have a firm date for re-opening.
White Lake campground (both seasonal and nightly camping) is closed until at least July 15, and Otter Falls campground is closed until July 29. Closures may be extended if flooded conditions persist or damaged facilities require additional repair.
The Parks info line for water, flood and closures will be wrapping up Sunday, June 26. After this time all inquiries should be directed to the regular parks information phone lines or the local district office.
Phone Numbers/ Websites:
- Parks info line for water, flood and closures: 204-340-6769 between 8am and 6pm daily.
- To report an emergency please contact the RCMP via 911 if located in the South Whiteshell, 204-348-7177 in the North Whiteshell, and 204-345-8685 in Pointe du Bois.
- Camping Information 1-888-482-2267 for the Parks Reservation Service.
- Environment, Climate and Parks General inquiry line 1-800-214-6497.
- Highway conditions: Manitoba511.ca
- Manitoba Parks: manitobapark.com for a list of other closures.
- Manitoba Hydro Water Flow New Release: hydro.mb.ca
- DFA Information: https://www.gov.mb.ca/emo/dfa/residence.html, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 204-945-3050.
- Emergency Measure Information: gov.mb.ca/emo
- After a flood: www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/spring_outlook/after_flood_booklet.pdf