Fire Fighting in Canada

Headlines News
Worst case flood scenario over in Saskatchewan

May 8, 2013, Regina – The worst-case scenario for flooding in Saskatchewan has been avoided, in part because of a long, drawn-out spring melt.

May 8, 2013
By The Canadian Press

May 8, 2013, Regina – The worst-case scenario for flooding in Saskatchewan has been avoided, in part because of a long, drawn-out spring melt.

Water Security Agency spokesman Patrick Boyle says a lot of snow – and there was record snowfall in some areas – was absorbed by the ground or evaporated.

"Overall the long melting period has helped us out a lot this year," Boyle said Tuesday.

"Most of the snow cover is gone in the province, and in the southern areas, the majority of local inflows are now declining and making their way through the river systems."

Advertisment

Boyle said there's never been a spring melt this late on the Prairies, so officials weren't entirely sure what to expect, but in the end, the late melt helped because water flowed in stages, rather than all at once.

The agency is still watching several lakes where levels have not yet peaked.

Wascana Lake in Regina was expected to peak Wednesday, while lakes in the Qu'Appelle Valley will see their highest levels in the next couple of weeks.

The peaks are expected to be lower than originally forecasted.

"This is pretty good news for those regions as it does lower the flood risk, but the peaks have not passed yet, so people still need to remain on flood alert a little while longer," said Boyle.

"Also, there could be some ice moving through there in chunks and if you get a good strong wind, what can happen is those lakefront properties . . . could be at risk to seeing some damage."

The agency had warned that the entire southern half of Saskatchewan would see spring run-off levels above or well-above normal.

Late Tuesday, the RM of Corman Park – the rural area that surrounds Saskatoon – declared a local state of emergency, bringing the total to 14 communities under the designation.

Adam Tittemore, acting administrator, says some homes have taken on water and some are cut off from a main road, but he's not sure if anyone has been forced to evacuate.

Deputy emergency management commissioner Colin King said some communities are getting back to normal.

"We're starting to see a few communities in a few locations in the province transition towards recovery and getting back to normal life and back to business as usual," said King.

In comparison, there were 60 different communities which declared emergencies in 2011.

King cautioned, however, that "2013 isn't over yet."