Flooded Roche Percee villagers to rebuild

A week after the village of Roche Percee was overtaken by the Souris River, townsfolk are thinking of returning home.
Roche Percee was inundated by the Souris River Sunday June 19. (Courtesy Christina Turnbull)

A week after the village of Roche Percee was overtaken by the Souris River, townsfolk are thinking of returning home.

The volume of water flowing into the Souris River from the Rafferty and Boundary Dams has been reduced by half and water levels in Roche Percee have dropped about a metre.

The entire downtown of 200 people is still flooded.

"I think people's spirits are coming back up, more people have moved back up on the hill," said Roche Percee Mayor Reg Jahn. "They don't have running water yet, we're going to do some more work on that."

Jahn said there were more reports of looting in the village over the weekend but he did not provide specific details.

But with more people returning and increased patrols by the RCMP Jahn hopes intruders will be kept out.

Those moving back in the past 24 hours are not among those whose properties were flooded. They left their homes because they were worried about losing access, or due to medical issues.

Jahn said about 35 people were back in their homes with about 150 others still out.

Jahn Estimates about 75 per cent of people will rebuild in Roche Percee.

"Yesterday I was talking to some residents [who] were looking for an alternative house to move on the same lot. It's just so treed and so beautiful that they just can't see living anywhere else."

Jahn hopes over the next several days the river will recede enough to begin to properly assess all the damage.

Meantime around the Estevan area, people also have been able to return home.

Reeve Kelly Lafrentz said there's still much work to be done and 30 homes in the municipality are still under water.

"I've never been so happy to see dusty roads as I have been the past four days," said Lafrentz, adding that a number of roads and bridges are washed out.