Province shifts flood focus from protection to recovery
Recovery centres being opened in Melville, Carnduff, Esterhazy, Yorkton, Balcarres, Moosomin, Grenfell
Despite the overnight storms in the southeast, the province says it is shifting its focus on the Saskatchewan flood situation from protection to recovery in most areas.
Most water levels have receded throughout the province, except in some parts of the Qu'Appelle system where Round Lake is expected to peak and break records Monday.
During the provincial flood call Saturday, Duane McKay, commissioner of emergency measures with Government Relations, said officials are beginning to "feel good" about the situation.
"There is a shift now in many areas from the response — trying to protect properties — to recovering, so we are in contact with municipalities that were hard hit during the rain event," said McKay.
The province is setting up recovery centres in some of the worst hit areas to help people deal with the aftermath. Government relations set up the first centre in Melville Friday. Between then and Saturday, 200 people had been through and used the services at the centre.
Another centre will open in Carnduff Tuesday to serve the surrounding area.
People in the southeast from communities like Gainsborough, Carievale, and Alida will be able to access the centre. It will stay open until July 11.
The recovery centres are designed as a one-stop-shop with representatives from government agencies on hand to help with any issues people might be facing related to the flash flooding.
Recovery branch director Mieka Cleary said that includes representatives from health, social services, the emergency reduction program, Sask Energy and even Sask Power.
"So if they have had damage to their furnaces or any electrical or appliances, you know how to be safe in either getting those inspected and or getting them turned back on," said Cleary.
Representatives from the provincial disaster assistance program are also at the centre in Melville. Cleary said people have been submitting their claims on site.
The province says it will open more centres in Moosomin, Grenfell, Yorkton, Esterhazy and Balcarres in the coming days.
Red Cross clean-up kits will be available at the centres.
Despite the move toward recovery, people in the Round Lake and Crooked Lake areas are still dealing with the immediate effect of Saturday night's storm.
While we are grateful on the physical health side for what we have seen in the aftermath here, the mental health issue is a concern- Brad Wall, premier of Saskatchewan
A first-response reception centre has been opened at Bird's Point, Sask., to help people deal with the emotional turmoil they are facing after being hit once again.
Premier Brad Wall also dialed-in during the media flood call Saturday to talk about the toll a disaster like this takes on those directly affected.
Mental health issue
He said although there have been no injuries, damaged homes and threatened livelihoods are a worry.
"While we are grateful on the physical health side for what we have seen in the aftermath here, the mental health issue is a concern," said Wall.
As a result, the province has expanded its farm stress line to a 24-hour flash flood emergency line to support those who need it. Anyone who can benefit from confidential counselling and referral services can call the line at 1-800-667-4442.
McKay said Saturday that although recovery efforts are underway, it will be a long process.
"We have probably a couple of weeks before we start to see water go down [in some areas] so that people that are affected by water at this particular point will start their recovery operations," said McKay.