Deluge of rain floods Lampman, Sask. homes and fields
Town administrator says sewer system hard pressed to keep up with fast-falling rain
The Town of Lampman was getting pretty dry a week ago, but any idle wishes for rain were well and truly answered with a deluge that has since swamped the community.
"Everybody was hoping for a little bit of rain. Well, I guess they all got together and everyone got what they wanted," said area resident Doug Kerslake.
The town located about 200 km southeast of Regina has seen fields flooded, and streets overflowing with water.
Kerslake said his dugout was nearly empty, with little run-off during the spring. But the rain has seen the dugout fill and flow out into his backyard, and he estimates as many as one-third of the houses in Lampman will have experienced water damage.
"It's unreal," he said, saying th only flood it compares to is what the community experienced in 2011.
Town administrator Greg Wallin describes the community of about 700 as lying in a basin, so water has little place to go when rain comes pouring down. He estimated as much as 25 centimetres fell between Wednesday and Saturday before the rain began letting up.
"It came so fast, it put water through basement windows of people's houses," Wallin said, noting this also overloaded the town's sewer system.
While roads are passable, the town is asking people to avoid driving on water-logged roads if possible, so as not to put more pressure on houses that are in threat of flooding damage, or already water damaged.
Both Kerslake and Wallin were thankful for several volunteers, including farmers, oilfield workers and people from surrounding rural communities who came to pitch in, to suction water and haul it out of town.
"We've had volunteers that started four o'clock, five o'clock yesterday afternoon and are still there, and have not been to bed yet, and are still out manning pumps, hauling pipes, whatever they can do," Wallin said on Saturday afternoon, as he crossed his fingers for a spell of dry weather.
"All the support you get from people is amazing."