Spring flooding along the Red River is one of Canada’s most disruptive natural hazards. In 1997, floodwaters from the Red inundated more than 2,000 km2 in Canada and the United States and threatened communities through-out the Red River basin (Fig. 1). Dubbed the ‘flood of the century’ by local media, the 1997 flood caused more than CDN $500 million in damages in southern Manitoba (Manitoba Water Commission 1998) and was even more destructive upstream in Minnesota and North Dakota. The Red River breached the dikes protecting the cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, caused damages in excess of USD $3.6 billion and chased several thousand people from their homes (International Joint Commission 2000). The region’s largest city, Winnipeg, avoided disaster by a narrow margin. Almost half a century earlier, the Red River flood of 1950 caught the basin largely unprepared and unprotected, and displaced nearly 100,000 people from Winnipeg and other communities (Bumstead 1997).