As dozens of Saskatchewan communities enter the clean-up and assessment phase from the torrential downpour that led to flash-flooding, provincial officials are warning property owners in the Qu'Appelle valley about expected water volumes. In some places, like Grandview Beach, higher than normal lake levels are already taking a toll.
On Wednesday, officials said water levels on Last Mountain Lake, Round Lake, Crooked Lake, and Katepwa lake are all above normal. Water control structures have been activated to deal with the extra water but officials are advising people to take action to protect cottages.
In Grandview Beach, on Last Mountain Lake, residents said about 12 properties were seriously damaged by erosion and some were in danger of falling into the water.
"The whole hillside is going," village mayor Bob Stobbs told CBC News Wednesday. He said he figures the erosion may continue for some time and the community is seeking out some experts for advice.
"I don't think there are any simple answers," Bryan Gourlie, who has property affected by the erosion, said. "Probably these cottages will have to come out here. We'll figure it out and rebuild if we can."
According to officials, water on Last Mountain Lake will remain high for the rest of the summer. They were also keeping watch on Round Lake and Crooked Lake where high water levels could exceed those recorded in 2011, a previous high year.
Provincial Disaster Assistance sought
As of Wednesday morning, 81 communities in Saskatchewan had contacted officials regarding assistance under the province's disaster aid program. Twenty-eight formal applications have been approved and another ten are in the works. An official said most communities were transitioning to recovery, with areas in the southeast working on clean up and damage assessment.
Also as of Wednesday, 17 provincial highways have sections that are closed, including:
- Highway 10 between Yorkton and Balcarres. Needs repairs.
- Highway 13 between Carlyle and Manitoba.
Meanwhile, the province announced late Wednesday afternoon that Highway 1 was once again open in both directions from Regina to Whitewood.
Officials were still taking stock of the affect of flooding on agriculture noting that many seeded fields are flooded out and will not recover.