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SK struggles with flooding


Flooding in Saskatoon after a day of heavy rain
Flooding in Saskatoon after a day of heavy rain

Jill Colton, staff writer

June 18, 2011 — Heavy rain has triggered flooding in Saskatchewan, prompting several communities to declare states of emergency.

Rainfall totals from Friday to Saturday
Rainfall totals from Friday to Saturday

A deluge of rain has sparked flooding woes in southern Saskatchewan.

On Friday night, the City of Weyburn declared a state of emergency after 24 hours of heavy rain caused an electrical failure at the city's waste water treatment plant.

“The city's infrastructure is taxed to the limit,” Weyburn mayor Debra Button said in a press release. “City crews are working to keep the system functioning but we are asking all city residents to help us deal with this emergency situation.”

A boil water order has been put in place as a precaution, and residents are being asked not to use sump pumps, as the city cannot cope with additional waste water at this time.

“All residents of southeast Saskatchewan are doing their best in the face of extreme flooding. We know we are not alone in dealing with this challenge but I want all Weyburn residents to know that we did everything possible to prepare for this emergency and are doing all we can to minimize the impact on our residents,” Button said.

Nineteen communities had declared states of emergency due to the extreme rainfall, including Yellow Grass, which according to Environment Canada had seen 78.2 mm by Friday afternoon.

Flooded trailer park in Weyburn
Flooded trailer park in Weyburn

Meanwhile, the town of Radville, 135 km south of Regina, has seen all its surrounding highways and some internal roads submerged.

“We have water absolutely everywhere,” said Radville Mayor Shirley Cancade told a local media outlet. “People are getting water in their basements and sewers backing up.”

The water in the town has been shut off and RCMP are recommending that people limit travel.

Regina is also dealing with localized flooding. Several underpasses were roped off Friday and classes at the University of Regina were closed because of the high water.

All of the wet weather has come from one system that's been slowly cycling over the Prairies.

“The jet stream's been stuck in a position across the Prairies that has given us a lot of days of active weather and systems that have been moving very slowly,” explains Weather Network meteorologist Chris Scott.

The good news is this latest low is starting to weaken as it rotates back towards central Alberta. Most of central and western Saskatchewan will continue to see showers through Sunday, but overall substantially less rain than Friday.

With files from Alexandra Pope

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