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WHITESHELL WATER UPDATE: JUNE 29

Posted on: June 29, 2022  |   , , ,

Manitoba Parks has provided the following update today

Whiteshell Provincial Park: June 29, 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.

The removal of the emergency gravel road is complete. This allows Manitoba Parks to open campgrounds and recreational infrastructure in the areas adjacent to PR 307 from the west park gate to the junction of PR307/309 (with the exception of the closure at Heart Lake/ Rennie River that will remain in place until the water the recedes).

Access to Betula Lake subdivision as well as nearby trails and facilities is from the south only (through Rennie and past White Lake). The local access only restriction to the south of Betula Lake has also been removed, allowing regular access to this subdivision and associated facilities. The barricade north of Betula will be moved north past the Bannock Point Petroforms parking lot to allow access to the Petroform site and Pine Point Rapids Hiking Trail.

Please double check Manitoba 511 prior to heading out for the most up to date information on highway closures. There is no through road from Seven Sisters to Betula Lake.

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.

Nutimik, Dorothy, Opapiskaw, and Betula Lake seasonal Campgrounds will open Thursday, June 30 and nightly camping will open July 1. Individual bays and sites may have their closures extended based on site conditions or facility damage.

Recreational infrastructure in this area will open July 1 including day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, and beaches. Beaches may not have swim lines present due to high water, use extra caution at these locations.

The boat launches located at Big Creek near Seven Sisters, Otter Falls, Opapiskaw, Blk 1 Nutimik, New Nutimik and White Lake remain closed. 8 Foot Falls, Dorothy Lake, South Shore Big Whiteshell and Betula Lake Boat launches are open July 1. Public can expect open launches to be without docks, high water is preventing repair and placement of docks throughout the park.

Dorothy, Opapiskaw, Betula, 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.

The Winnipeg River has crested and is slowly receding, but is expected to remain high for the next number numbers of weeks. . Please see https://www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/facilities/water_levels/ for the most current Manitoba Hydro forecast.

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.

A portion of Crescent Beach will reopen to the public on July 1. Pay attention to signage, and barricades. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly. Overflow parking will be available at the old West Hawk Inn site and adjacent to the West Hawk Maintenance yard.

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.

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 will open July 1: Pine Point Rapids, Forester’s Footsteps, Bannock Point Petroforms, TCT from White Lake to the west park gate, and the red suspension bridge trail to Sturgeon Falls. Hunt Lake Hiking Trail remains closed.

Backcountry routes and campsites are open throughout the park, with the exception of: the campsites above Lamprey Falls on the Winnipeg River, and the Caddy Lake tunnels.  The Whiteshell River between White Lake and the Winnipeg River are open as of July 1.

Phone Numbers/ Websites:

  • Local District Offices – Lac du Bonnet (204-345-1400), Seven Sisters (204-348-4004), Rennie (204-369-3153), and Falcon Lake (204-349-2201).
  • 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.htmldfa@gov.mb.ca 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

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