Manitoba geography is simple. We live on a flood plain.
Those who complain about floods were not thinking that far ahead when they bought/inherited houses in southern Manitoba.
Our major rivers carry water from the States northward. During spring thaw, if you couple the effects of big rains or heavy snow seasons the rivers can overflow their banks (local and major tributaries). Without any real valleys to speak of, the flat land spreads a barrel of water over every 20 feet like spilling a full tall glass of milk on a very flat table top.
The city of Winnipeg had the foresight so long ago to build a protective floodway that can drain water from the rivers (and incoming water overland) around the city
. The city and province together regulate how much, how long the gates are open each season. This allows faster drainage of water in the south and it keeps Winnipeg relatively dry.
The system worked (close call) in the flood of the century in 1997 and most people had small problems with some basement flooding coming up from below. Those south of the floodway lost homes if they were sitting on low ground, however there was alot of anger about the use of the floodway. If the gates had been open more, the drainage would have lowered water levels in the area but the city/province made some decisions and did not open the gates as far as they said they would. This meant that all the sandbagging done for some southern homes did little as the places were lost to water by mere inches in some cases. There is still a lawsuit pending in the courts over the decision that was made and not told to homeowners as they were constructing the sandbag dykes.
All new homes being built in that aftermath had a regulation to be on much higher ground and several people we know re-built their homes another 10-15' up beyond that spec!
The floodway is now being upgraded and expanded.
Incidentally, we live about 200m from the Red River. If it ever does overflow its banks within the city, we would lose our new media room for sure.