The Portage Diversion at 2:15 p.m. Thursday. Down slightly from the midnight peak. (PHOTO COURTESY PORTAGEONLINE)

The river level near Portage la Prairie is beginning to drop. Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton says the Assiniboine river crested at midnight at 52,100 cubic feet per second on the Portage Reservoir. He notes that's slightly less than the 2011 levels.
"There is 2 things. The good news, one is the flows are already starting to subside. Again, we did indicate that the forecast was for a very short period of time at the maximum flow. But the real good news is that all that work done on the Assiniboine dikes and all the work that's been done in terms of the Portage Diversion is paying off."
Ashton says there were a few leaks and seepage detected by the military's Aurora surveillance aircraft overnight and those spots have been fixed.
"If I was to describe where we are at today,  it's probably a sense of cautious optimism with what we've seen on the Assiniboine dikes and the Portage Diversion. Cautious of course because you never want to take anything for granted."
As for the expected second crest, Ashton says it'll be less than initial crest near Portage la Prairie but will be larger at Brandon. He says some of the province's focus will likely be going back to western Manitoba to prepare.

For more information:
Manitoba flood update
Pronvincial flood bulletin