*** 20th Anniversary: 2003 to 2023 ***
Aerial View, looking ENE
When they talk about opening the Red River floodgates what are the floodgates? How do they work?
Barry's Response - South of Winnipeg is a floodway, designed to provide an alternative channel for excess water to flow around the city instead of through it. It is over 40 km long and diverts water around the east side of Winnipeg and dumps it back into the river near Selkirk. It's capacity is over 2500 m3 per second of water.
Duff's Ditch, as it is known in some circles, has saved the city's neck on several occasions. It uses flood gates to control the flow rate of water into the channel and in flood years they plan to close them once again to force water to divert.
In response to the original question, I assume the floodgates refers to the control gates on the Red River system. Generally, a floodgate controls water flow. They allow or stop water from discharging into a system, depending on the need and circumstances.
There are no gates on the spillway. The control gates are always open, what controls the water direction in the Winnipeg system is a dam in the main flow which causes a reduction of flow into the city, a backup upstream and automatic discharge into the sideways-oriented floodway.
This floods lands and property that is not designed for water flows or storage, but most Manitobans consider it a preferable alternative to flooding the city. Most.
They therefore use it only for major, potentially catastrophic flood events, and let the city watercourse handle minor flash flooding caused by acute weather events.
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