May-long is typically the weekend Manitobans head to the cabin or cottage or campground. This has been an unusual winter and spring weather-wise and so you may not be surprised to find a monkey-wrench in your plans.

Manitoba Environment, Climate and Parks continue to advise all provincial park visitors to carefully check and monitor conditions before heading out this weekend as some campgrounds and trails are closed to help protect the health and safety of Manitobans.

Park visitors are reminded to obey road and trail closures and not attempt to drive through flooded areas or across damaged bridges.

Roads and highways through Whiteshell Provincial Park have multiple flooded areas and closed sections. In Whiteshell Provincial Park, the Otter Falls, Betula Lake and White Lake campgrounds are closed due to rising water levels on the Winnipeg and Whiteshell rivers. Travel is not advised to cottages and trails in the Betula Lake area.

Watercraft restrictions are in place in Nopiming and Whiteshell provincial parks to help protect flooded shorelines from erosion. Recreational motorboat traffic is prohibited from operating within 100 metres of shorelines. When exiting or approaching a shoreline, boats should move directly out from land and avoid creating a wake where possible. Several boat launches are closed in the Whiteshell and all traffic on Whiteshell lakes should be aware of debris and areas of floating bog.

If you are planning on going camping, please confirm that your campsite is still available, especially if it's in the Whiteshell Provincial Park.

Camp services such as drinking water and washrooms may be limited or reduced in some areas as a result of late spring conditions which are delaying the seasonal setup and operation of water lines. Campers are advised to plan accordingly for potential service reductions and pack adequate drinking water.

Meanwhile, Manitoba Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre is now issuing a high wind effect alert for lakes Winnipeg, Manitoba and Winnipegosis for Friday, May 20.

Strong, sustained winds from the north in the forecast will create a risk of ice pileup and cause water levels to rise along shorelines. Wave action could also add to the temporary increase in water levels. Wind speeds are forecast to be highest in the morning and will moderate by the afternoon. However, the risk of overland flooding will persist throughout the day.

Property owners along these shorelines are advised to remain vigilant and take any necessary precautions.