The mayor of a flood-ravaged Saskatchewan village says he and other residents evacuated from their homes earlier this week have been hit by looters.
"They're taking my stuff and destroying my stuff and my friends and neighbours' stuff," said Roche Percee Mayor Reg Jahn.
Most residents of the village of 150 in the southeast corner of the province had to be evacuated after heavy rains and the release of water from local dams sent a wall of water over dikes on Sunday morning.
The community is in a valley and some homes were left completely under water, but others located at a higher elevation stayed relatively dry.
Among those who had to leave was Jahn, but he returned in a boat on Wednesday to retrieve some family photographs and other personal items.
Once inside the house, it was clear that someone had gone from room to room, ransacking the cabinets and trashing the place, he said.
A small safe that contained papers and some jewelry had been chiseled open and items were stolen, he said.
"I know my wife was totally devastated," he said. "It's a bad, bad feeling — kick you when you're down, eh?"
Jahn said he later learned that other residents have had their homes looted since the flood.
In one case, someone entered a house through a skylight and made off with a wide-screen TV.
"I don't know what I would do if I were to catch them," he said. "I believe myself to be a pretty forgiving person, but…"
People have been so busy just keeping ahead of the rising water, they haven't had time to tally up everything that has been taken, he said.
Jahn said what's needed is someone to provide more security, as is the case in the U.S. where the National Guard watches over homes in flood zones.
Unfortunately, there are so many people affected by the flood, the RCMP wouldn't have enough people, he said.