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1950 Red River flood

1950 red river flood
The 1950 Red River flood was a devastating flood that took place along the Red River in The Dakotas and Manitoba from April 15 to June 12, 1950 Damage was particularly severe in the city of Winnipeg and its environs, which were inundated on May 5, also known as Black Friday to some residents

An estimated 70,000 to 100,000 residents had to be evacuated, and four of eleven bridges were destroyed In that year, the Red River reached its highest level since 1861 and flooded most of the Red River Valley, more than 550 square miles One man died, and property losses due to the flood were estimated at more than $600 million to one billion

To prevent and reduce future damage, the government constructed the Red River Floodway, which was completed in 1968 It has been estimated to have prevented more than $100 billion CAD in cumulative flood damage


  • 1 Winnipeg
  • 2 United States
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Footnotes
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


The St Vital Fire Hall in Elm Park sheltered evacuees during the flood Portable power plant used by St Boniface Hospital during flood relief efforts

Although seasonal flooding was common, this flood surpassed the others The north-flowing Red River was fed by flows resulting from melting of heavy snows in the winter and runoff from heavy rains in the spring Eight dikes gave way and flooded much of Winnipeg, turning an estimated 600 square miles 1,600 km2 of farmland in the area into an enormous lake A total of more than 550 square miles in the Red River Valley were flooded, from Emerson to 60 miles north to Greater Winnipeg The depth of the flood waters on the farmland was between 2 and 6 feet The city turned to the Canadian Army and the Red Cross for help

In the end, four of eleven bridges in the city were destroyed and nearly 100,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes and businesses This was the largest evacuation in Canadian history until the 1979 Mississauga train derailment In Winnipeg there was one fatality; property damage was severe, with losses estimated at between $600 million and more than a billion dollars

As a result of the widespread damage, the government built the Red River Floodway, to divert flood waters from Winnpeg to more distant portions of the river The project was completed in 1968 and has been used 20 times It is estimated to have prevented more than $100 billion CAD in cumulative flood damage The Floodway was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2000, and is considered an outstanding engineering achievement both in terms of function and effects

United States

Flooding in the Red River Valley of the United States resulted in five deaths

See also

  • Red River of the North
  • 1997 Red River flood
  • Red River Floodway


  1. ^ a b "A city submerged: Winnipeg and the flood of 1950" Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 1950-05-10 Retrieved 3 September 2006 
  2. ^ a b "Red River of the North Flooding - 1950" USGS 2008-03-14 Archived from the original on 31 March 2009 Retrieved 1 April 2009 
  3. ^ a b "Winnipeg Flood - 1950" SOS! Canadian Disasters: Water Library and Archives Canada 2006-02-14 Retrieved 28 March 2009 
  4. ^ "Welcome to Saskrailmuseumorg" Sask Power Car 2008-09-11 Archived from the original on 15 October 2008 Retrieved 2008-10-03 
  5. ^ "Manitoba Flood/May, 1950", Manitoba Photos, 2005-2013; accessed 12 October 2016
  6. ^ https://wwwgovmbca/flooding/historical_factshtml
  7. ^ Red River Floodway Canadian Register of Historic Places Retrieved 10 June 2012


  • SOS! Canadian Disasters, a virtual museum exhibition at Library and Archives Canada

External links

  • Photos and newspapers from the 1950 flood in Manitoba

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1950 Red River flood

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