'So much damage': Cabins submerged after North Saskatchewan River floods near Wapiti

A small ski community in the east-central part of the province is underwater due to flooding from the North Saskatchewan River.

Resident says water is 2 metres deep near campground

Some outbuildings at the Wapiti Valley Regional Park campground are mostly underwater. (Submitted by Helen Sanderson Jenkins)

A small ski community in the east-central part of the province is underwater due to flooding from the North Saskatchewan River.

Chris Olsen, who lives about 10 minutes from Wapiti Valley Regional Park, said he received a call from a neighbour on Sunday saying there was flooding by the ski hill.

He said the area looks like a "big lake with houses floating in it."

"They have a small marina down by the river, and that's where the water came up," Olsen said.

"They had a whole bunch of small cabins there. . . . People weren't living in them, but they flipped right upside down. The roofs caved in on a couple of them.

"You can't drive up to the houses because the road is submerged."

Olsen said the water was up to two metres deep in some spots.

One resident told CBC News the water is about two metres deep in some areas. (Submitted Helen Sanderson Jenkins)

Wapiti is 85 kilometres east of Prince Albert. 

"I was shocked. This is the worst I've ever seen it," said Helen Sanderson Jenkins, who was in the area on the weekend.

The Melfort woman said she goes to Wapiti often to ride her quad and although it floods every year, it's not usually as devastating.

She said this year many buildings are completely submerged. She said multiple roads in the area are closed.

"The campground on the south side is also completely gone . . . so much damage," she said.

Sanderson Jenkins said the campground store, fishing shack, boat launch, showers, bathrooms and playground are all under water.

The base of the ski hill has flooded, including the area around the ski lift. (Submitted by Helen Sanderson Jenkins)

Ice jam leads to flooding

Patrick Boyle with the Water Security Agency said the flooding was caused by ice jams on the North Saskatchewan River, creating high river levels.

According to Boyle, nothing could have been done to prevent the flooding.

Some of the buildings have tipped over due to the water. (Submitted by Helen Sanderson Jenkins)

"Ice jams are one of those natural things that happen during breakup or spring runoff that are very difficult to predict and very difficult to react to because they happen very quickly," Boyle said.

"The ice jam has now broken up and moved its way through and river levels are now receding."

Due to the quick melt, Boyle said some areas north of Saskatoon are experiencing water on roadways and culvert issues but no major flooding is expected at this time.

With files from CBC Radio's Blue Sky