Storm adds setback to flooded Crooked, Round Lake areas
Province warns debris in lakes and fallen power lines could be dangerous
Saturday evening storms in southeastern Saskatchewan have caused a setback and increased the danger in the already flooded Crooked Lake and Round Lake areas.
On its daily media conference call, the province said heavy rainfall, large hail and intense winds created significant damage to the area. However, officials say tornadoes in the area did minimal damage to buildings and no injuries were reported.
"A lot of the structures that were in place were impacted and over topped as a result of the winds that were seen down on the lake area," said Duane McKay, Director of Emergency Measures with the Ministry of Government Relations.
Fallen trees, debris in lakes
The winds pulled down a large number of trees on roads which hampered crews' ability to combat the damage caused by the storm overnight.
Fallen trees took down power lines and continued blocking access points Sunday. That has forced power outages in a number of areas including Grenfell Beach and Cowessess First Nation.
People are being warned not to try to move the fallen debris off of power lines because they could get hurt.
SaskPower crews were deployed throughout the southeast to cleanup debris and get power restored.Residents have been asked to report debris and power outages to the agency.
Round Lake water levels rise
Round Lake rose by another 5 cm of water overnight following the storm, causing Water Security Agency monitors to increase the expected peak level. It's expected to reach 445.75 m at its peak, 25 cm higher than the peak level predicted Friday.
Monitors believe Round Lake will break a new peak level record Sunday or Monday. The record peak level of 445.3 m was set in 1955. The water was measured at 445.72 m Sunday morning.
At Crooked Lake, water levels rose 3 cm following Saturday's storm and then began dropping again.
An aerial survey this morning revealed there is a large amount of debris in Round and Crooked Lakes caused by the heavy winds.
The province is sending a strong warning to boaters to stay off the water due to the increased danger caused by floating timber.
Officials also warn waves from the boats compromise the efforts of those trying to protect their properties on the lakes.
"It would be very sad if all of the hard work of those individuals was destroyed for somebody that wanted to have a look at the damage on the lake," said McKay.
McKay also talked about the additional emotional toll the storm has taken on people who have already been dealing with the effects of the initial flood damage.
Reception centre moved to Bird's Point, Sask.
As a response to the added property loss around Round Lake, the province is moving its reception centre from Stockholm, Sask. to Birds Point, Sask., an area where it says people have been hit the hardest.
"There is a limit to emotional and physical capacity of individuals when they are fighting this type of fight and so (social services) had determined there was a need to support the people." said McKay.
Other areas in 'recovery mode'
This is a different situation compared to most parts of the province that have been hit by flooding.
Most places outside of the Qu'Appelle lakes have moved on from fighting flood water, and have begun working toward what's next. 'Recovery centres' are being set up in Melville and Carnduff, so people can access government agencies and support to assess and move on from damage.
There is a limit to emotional and physical capacity of individuals when they are fighting this type of fight- Duane McKay, commissioner of emergency measures, Government Relations
The recovery centres are different from the reception centre at Round Lake. It is a first response centre that allows people in the area to access essentials.
"We will continue to work with them and provide support as much a we can - lodging, meals, help get psycho-social (support) in while they are rebuilding and getting back into their homes," said Deanna Wysoskey, emergency Social Services coordinator.
Approximately 20 people from the Birds Point area are out of their homes as a result of the overnight storm.
The province is reminding people that it have converted the farm stress phone line into a 24 hour flood support line to provide support to those dealing with this difficult situation.