1950 Red River flood

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1950 Red River flood
Date April 15–June 12, 1950
Location Wahpeton - Breckenridge
Fargo - Moorhead
Grand Forks - East Grand Forks
Oslo, Minnesota
Pembina, North Dakota
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Deaths Canada: 1[1]
United States: 5[2]
Property damage $600 million -$1 billion
Part of a series on the
Red River of the North
Major Floods
Related Topics

The 1950 Red River flood was a devastating flood that took place along the Red River in The Dakotas and Manitoba in early 1950. Winnipeg was inundated on May 5, also known as Black Friday to some residents,[3] and had to be partially evacuated. In that year, the Red River reached its highest level since 1861 and flooded most of the Red River Valley.


A two-storey concrete and red brick fire hall. The front of the hall has three large doors for vehicles, one regular door, and two windows.
The St. Vital Fire Hall in Elm Park sheltered evacuees during the flood.
Portable power plant used by St. Boniface Hospital during flood relief efforts.[4]

Winnipeg was ill-prepared for such a huge swell of water, even though it predictably followed heavy snows in the winter and heavy rains in the spring. Eight dikes gave way and flooded much of the city, turning 600 square miles (1,600 km2) of farmland into an enormous lake. The city turned to the Canadian Army and the Red Cross for help.

In the end, four of eleven bridges were destroyed and nearly 100,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes and businesses. This was the largest evacuation in Canadian history until the 1979 Mississauga train derailment. In Winnipeg only one person, Lawson Ogg, lost his life to the flood but the final tally in damage was estimated at between $600 million[1] and over a billion dollars.[3]

United States[edit]

Flooding in the Red River Valley of the United States resulted in five deaths.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "A city submerged: Winnipeg and the flood of 1950". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 1950-05-10. Retrieved 3 September 2006. 
  2. ^ a b "Red River of the North Flooding - 1950". USGS. 2008-03-14. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Winnipeg Flood - 1950". SOS! Canadian Disasters: Water. Library and Archives Canada. 2006-02-14. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "Welcome to Saskrailmuseum.org". Sask Power Car. 2008-09-11. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 


External links[edit]