Downpour soaks Regina

An afternoon thunderstorm drenches Regina.
Sangster Blvd. in Regina was hit hard by the deluge. (Courtesy: Zach Obleman)

An intense downpour Thursday afternoon soaked Regina, leading to all sorts of water headaches for people.

The deluge hit around 3:30 p.m. CST as a thunderstorm rumbled across the region. Sheets of rain poured down on the city and continued through the end-of-the-workday rush hour.

The commute for many drivers was especially troublesome as water inundated many of the city's underpasses. That led to many long delays as motorists either waited for the water to drain away or tried to find an alternate route.

Several neighbourhoods in the city were also knee deep in unwanted water, in part because storm sewers just could not keep up with the volume of water. It didn't help matters that the heavy rain arrived just a few days after the city was blanketed with elm seeds which clogged many intake grates.

One area especially hard hit was on Sangster Boulevard where people saw water rise up on the sides of parked cars.

"There's one vehicle ... that's submerged," Zach Obleman told CBC News Thursday night. "It's probably done for."

The heavy rain put pressure on city services which were pressed to tend to all sorts of water issues.

Obleman said it took crews about 90 minutes to respond to the water on Sangster Boulevard and open clogged sewer grates.

"The timing was a little bad, but after a while they straightened it out," he said "They knew what to do. So good for them that they did send a crew out here."

Another heroic effort was noted at Mosaic Stadium where grounds crews had barely an hour to tend to a soaked Taylor Field where the Saskatchewan Roughriders were playing their first home game, a pre-season tilt against the Calgary Stampeders.

Outside of Regina, about 50 kilometres south of the city near Sedley, a storm chaser snapped a picture of a funnel cloud during the storm.

Environment Canada ended a series of warnings and watches for the area around 9 p.m.