With flood waters slowly receding in the Whiteshell, the province is lifting some restrictions. Manitoba Environment, Climate and Parks in conjunction with Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure are advising of changes to the North Whiteshell Provincial Park closure.
Beginning on Friday at 1 pm, Provincial Road (PR) 307 will reopen to local traffic only. Access will only be granted for the following: cottage owners, permanent residents, and commercial operators and clients. Day users and campers are still not allowed in this area. Campgrounds and access points will remain barricaded due to flood waters and potentially unsafe conditions. Flood conditions continue to persist and pose a risk to public safety, and all visitors are reminded to check and carefully monitor conditions prior to heading to the Whiteshell and all other provincial parks.
In Whiteshell Provincial Park, the general closure and evacuation order for the northern area of the park will no longer be in effect as of Friday, June 10 at 1 pm. Due to slowly receding waters on the Winnipeg River and improved conditions, PR 307 will open to local traffic only as a means of allowing access to residences, cottages or businesses. Temporary traffic signals will be in place to ensure traffic safety in an area of single lane traffic that has been raised to provide access. Other locations of single lane traffic with sufficient visibility will be controlled by 'yield to oncoming traffic' signage. Travellers are advised to expect delays and proceed with caution on these temporary roadways, drive to the conditions and abide by signals and signage. Be advised cottage subdivision block roads and other access roads may be in poor condition or flooded and caution is strongly advised.
The closure area is rescinded for Sylvia Lake, Eleanor Lake, Otter Falls, Dorothy Lake, Barrier Bay and Nutimik Lake.
The parks closure area will remain in effect for the Betula Lake area due to flood waters that continue to make access points and local roads impassable. No person shall reside in or enter the Betula Lake closure area. The closure area continues to apply to the cottage subdivision, commercial areas, campgrounds, group use, day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails and beaches in and around Betula Lake.
Additionally, all backcountry campsites remain closed in Whiteshell Provincial Park along with multiple trails including the Mantario Trail.
The Winnipeg and Whiteshell rivers continue to cause significant overland flooding. The Winnipeg River is expected to crest this week and may take several weeks to fully recede to normal summer levels, depending on weather conditions. Manitoba Parks is working in conjunction with Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure on the first phase of a plan to reopen the area safely as water levels recede and conditions become safer for travel. Campground infrastructure including electrical, water and wastewater systems will continue to be assessed and repairs may be required before reopening for camping. Details on the next phase of the reopening plan are expected to be finalized and communicated to parks users in the coming weeks.
Watercraft users are reminded restrictions remain in place on lakes in Whiteshell Provincial Park to limit erosion and property damage from boat wakes along flooded shorelines.
Campsite reservation holders and seasonal campers will be contacted and their fees refunded if their campsite is affected by a closure. Campers should not pre-emptively cancel reservations before being notified of a site closure, otherwise cancellation policies will apply.