Flood prep underway throughout Saskatchewan
A rising tide of flood worries is prompting cities — Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and others — to spring into action.
The reason is, many areas of Saskatchewan have seen unprecedented snowfall over the winter and with warm temperatures around the corner, water could soon be gushing into some basements.
Throughout the weekend, thousands of residents were busy shovelling or blowing snow away from the foundations of their homes.
Regina and Moose Jaw have been singled out as two cities where flooding is possible, not just from rivers and creeks, but also from a big melt of snow piled up around homes.
In Moose Jaw, the city has set up a sandbagging registry.
Officials are looking for volunteers to help lay the bags out if water begins to threaten people's homes.
People appear willing to pitch in, says emergency measures co-ordinator Rod Montgomery.
"Actually, as I was getting ready for work this morning, a fellow walked up to me and asked how he could do it," Montgomery said. "I just informed him to phone up to the firehall to register, so certainly there's some interest out there."
In Regina, the city's emergency measures committee meets at city hall Monday and flood preparation is on the agenda.
"The forecast for the Wascana Creek runoff is "well above normal" according to the Water Security Agency," a report to the committee says.
"While there is a lot of snow on the ground, there is also capacity in the ground, so a great deal will depend on the type of spring we have. The urban melt is also of moderate concern at this time."
In Saskatoon, the city is looking at fixing a number of problems, including snow-plugged catch basins.
As well, a winter of heavy snow means people in Saskatoon may need to move their garbage cans this spring.
There are fears the snow could turn back alleys into a soupy mess. City officials worry heavy garbage and recycling trucks will get stuck in the back alleys.
They're recommending garbage cans be brought to front streets for as long as two months.
A city committee will discuss the report Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, SaskPower is telling its customers to disconnect all outdoor electrical devices that are in danger of being submerged and turn off breakers to outdoor plugs. It notes that electrocution is the second most common cause of death during floods (with drowning the most common cause.)
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