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Historic flooding strikes Canada

Emergency officials say record number of acres has been covered the year

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (UPI) | April 14, 2011

Canadian officials say this year's spring flooding in Manitoba has covered more land than any other year, with the peak high water still weeks away.

Provincial Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Steve Ashton told reporters in Winnipeg this year's annual flood is "unprecedented on a geographic scale,'' and is affecting most of Manitoba's 197 municipalities, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.

"I want to stress this is a very serious flood,'' he said.

While dense snow is melting, more is falling in places and rain is also contributing to the flooding. Large dams of broken ice are also part of the problem and the province has several machines working at breaking up ice dams to allow water to flow, the Winnipeg Sun said.

Hydrologists predicted the Red River around Winnipeg will crest as high as 22.8 feet between April 30 and May 4, the Sun said.

The flooding affects nearly every river in south-central Manitoba and has led to precautionary evacuations of at least 400 residents, the Free Press said.

Two deaths have been attributed to the flooding so far, police said.

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