Saskatchewan flooding: 37 communities declare state of emergency
Numerous basements flooded, sandbagging continues, crops underwater
There was less rain Monday, but the situation in flood-wracked southeastern Saskatchewan continues to be dire, with a total of 37 communities declaring a state of emergency.
The weekend rain was heavy and constant.
Some areas got as much as 200 millimetres of rain from Friday to Monday, causing bridges, roads and culverts to be washed out.
Some farm families were stuck in their homes — or in towns away from their homes — after flood waters rose on Sunday.
Highways and grid roads on the east side of the province near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border were under water in spots and many routes have been closed.
The area includes a big chunk of Saskatchewan's farm belt and for many farmers, the weekend rain will mean a poor crop or no crop at all this year.
In cities like Melville and Yorkton and in towns like Moosomin and Redvers, residents have been scrambling to keep water out of their basements, pumping and sandbagging throughout the night.
For some who ended up with a metre or more of water — sometimes contaminated with sewage — in their basements, it was a losing battle.
CN Rail said the rain would also affect service on branch lines, particularly in the Humboldt and Hudson Bay areas. That will be a concern for farmers who want to get their crops to market.
In Regina, where about 91 millimetres of rain fell on the weekend, there were numerous accounts on social media about residents struggling to keep up with the water leaking into their basements. Regina is not among the communities that has declared a state of emergency.
Declaring a state of emergency allows a community to apply for emergency aid. It also gives municipalities the authority to take certain actions, such as cutting roads and ordering people to evacuate their homes.
The village of Gainsborough, among the 37 communities that has declared an emergency, had all its residents evacuated during the weekend. They've gone to Carnduff.
Duane McKay, Saskatchewan's director of emergency management said that four people were rescued by a helicopter after being stranded on Highway 55.
The group had arrived at an impassable washout on the road and when they turned around, to go back, they found things had become worse.
"The culvert they had driven over had washed out so they were trapped in the middle of the road," McKay said. "In that case we accessed civilian helicopters out of Manitoba to conduct that rescue."
McKay said that, as of Monday, the province is coping using its own people and resources to deal with emergencies and there is not need to call the army for help.
Rain continued in many communities Monday, but most people can expect to see it taper off in the next few days, according to Environment Canada.
37 communities declare emergencies
As of Monday afternoon, the following communities had declared states of emergencies:
- City of Yorkton.
- City of Melville.
- Town of Whitewood.
- Town of Redvers.
- Town of Fleming.
- Town of Wolseley.
- Town of Bredenbury.
- Town of Watson.
- Town of Grenfell.
- Town of Lemberg.
- Town of Springside.
- Town of Churchbridge.
- Village of Gainsborough.
- Village of Alida.
- Village of Stockholm.
- Village of Carievale.
- Village of Spy Hill.
- Village of Quill Lake.
- Village of Elfros.
- RM of Martin #122.
- RM of Moosomin #121.
- RM of Rocanville #151.
- RM of Antler #61.
- RM of Argyle #1.
- RM of Reciprocity #32.
- RM of Fertile Belt #183.
- RM of Storthoaks #31.
- FN Star Blanket Cree Nation.
- Town of Balcarres.
- Town of Saltcoates.
- RM of Grayson #184.
- RM of Porcupine Plain #395.
- RM of Garry # 245.
- Village of Abernathy.
- Village of Bangor.
- RM of Tullymet #216.
- Town of Regina Beach.
[*Source: Government of Saskatchewan]
The Saskatchewan Red Cross also has available a Recovery Assistance and Information Line: 1-888-953-3463.
The agency noted that people can phone and leave a message 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, noting that all calls remain confidential, and will be returned by a Red Cross worker.