The extremely high water levels on Lake of the Woods have led the Lake of the Woods Control Board (LWCB) to fully open the Norman Dam in Kenora by May 7, 2022.
Lake of the Woods and Winnipeg River water levels will continue to rise until inflow to Lake of the Woods falls below the outflow rate. The rate of rising will depend on rainfall in the coming weeks.
Officials from the LWCB say the lake is expected to rise towards the top of the legislated operating range (323.47 m or 1061.25 ft) by mid-May.
Since April 20, 2022, the Lake of the Woods Control Board (LWCB), has had to slowly increase the outflow from 500 m³/s to 1025 m³/s, with the latest increase coming on May 1, 2022. The level of Lake of the Woods has risen 65 cm (25 in) from April 20, 2022, to May 2, 2022. The Winnipeg River has risen 170 cm (67 in) since early April.
The most recent outflow increase, on Sunday, brought outflow to approximately 90% of the maximum possible for the lake level, but this was still just 1/3 of the inflow rate on May 1.
Throughout the winter the Kenora area saw 305.8 cm of snowfall from September 2021 until Monday (May 2, 2022), which broke a 61-year-old winter snowfall record. Last winter, the region only received 102.9 cm of snow from September 2020 until June 2021.
In April, 67.8 mm of rain fell at the Kenora Airport, which broke a 62-year-old rainfall record for the month. Almost half of that monthly amount came in the last weekend of the month, as 30.8 mm of rain fell.
Wet weather could result in a very high lake and river levels and preparations for this should be made in areas that have had impacts from past high-water events.
High flows are expected to develop in the Lac Seul-English River local watershed over the next week as the late melt of a very deep snowpack develops. Lac Seul outflow increases are scheduled.
Combined flows of the Winnipeg River and English River will see high water levels develop in May through the Whiteshell.