WINNIPEG - Parts of Manitoba are bracing for a surge of floodwater from Saskatchewan that could topple records set by the 2011 flood.
People living along the Assiniboine River just west of Winnipeg have been told the river could swell half a metre above where it was three years ago.
The 2011 flood was one of Manitoba's worst as army reservists scrambled to help shore up weakened dikes and sandbag homes along the river.
Robert Poirier, chief administrative officer of St. Francois Xavier municipality west of Winnipeg, said people who live along the river were told after that disaster to put in permanent flood protection.
But he said he doesn't know how many people took that advice.
"There is a bit of anger, a lot of resignation," Poirier said Friday. "There are some people that expect that the province or the municipality will protect their properties this year."
But unlike 2011, Poirier said they haven't been sandbagging for months and aren't prepared for a flood-fight this late in the year.
"In 2011, the province had been busily making sandbags for four months, as had we," he said.
"We consumed something on the order of more than 200,000 sandbags over the course of a week or two. We couldn't possibly make that many bags. That was gangs of workers going full-tilt for months."
Manitoba experienced one of the worst and longest floods in its history in the spring of 2011. Officials operated the Portage Diversion, a channel that funnels water from the Assiniboine River into Lake Manitoba, over its designed capacity.
The river crested for months, weakening dikes and pushing water levels up on Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg.
The province is forecasting similar flows when the crest is expected to arrive from Saskatchewan next week.
The situation is changing rapidly.
The city of Brandon revised its forecast overnight. The crest was expected to hit the city late next week but officials say it could arrive as early as Sunday. In the latest update, the city downgraded the crest somewhat by up to 1/3 of a metre.
Officials say people living north and south of the Assiniboine River will receive pre-evacuation notices over the weekend and dikes will be monitored regularly.
Torrential rain and flash floods last weekend prompted more than 100 communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba to declare a state of emergency. About 300 people in Saskatchewan and 565 people in Manitoba have had to leave their homes because of overland flooding.
The situation appeared to be improving in Saskatchewan Thursday. Water started to recede in communities and move through the river systems toward Manitoba.
The Saskatchewan government is opening a flood recovery centre in Melville to help those affected residents.
Farmers in both provinces have borne the brunt as overland flooding turned fields into lakes. Officials say it will be a while before they can assess the damage to crops, homes and roads.