Saskatchewan

Yorkton, Sask. drying up after flash floods on Sunday

Yorkton was one of the Saskatchewan communities hardest hit by stormy weather on Sunday night.

60 mm of rain falls in an hour Sunday evening

People took to social media on Sunday night to share their experiences of the flooding in Yorkton. (@flow_point/Twitter)

​A day after 60 millimetres of rain fell within an hour causing flash flooding in Yorkton, Sask., businesses and homeowners are spending the holiday Monday drying up.

Yorkton Mayor Robert Maloney said he woke up bright and early on Monday and toured around the city of about 16,000, assessing the damage.

Businesses downtown including the library and McDonald's are closed today. Maloney added some homeowners like himself were lucky, others weren't. 

"I have talked to people who had five-feet of water in their basement and of course businesses downtown are affected. We have people with seepage … even in front of my own house we can call it lake-front property a few times a year," Maloney said. "We're not unscathed through this one, it was a heck of a storm."

With parts of downtown and along Broadway Street pooling Sunday afternoon, Maloney said the city's storm sewer, with the help of city workers pumping water away, moved the water off the streets by 9:30 p.m. CST Sunday.

Maloney said Jim Reiter, minister of government relations, phoned him Monday morning to check in. He's also received an email from Premier Brad Wall. But Yorkton isn't declaring a state of emergency. 

Disaster funding

Maloney said for businesses and homeowners to get provincial disaster funding, the municipality simply has to advise the province about the disaster and homeowners will be able to access disaster funding.

"Unfortunately we're getting good at this, as you know we had Estevan earlier this year, Swift Current and now us. It seems like every year cities are being hit," Maloney said.

He added flooding along Broadway is becoming all too familiar.

Maloney said the storm sewer system in Yorkton wasn't designed to handle this much water so quickly. Currently the city is working on a storm sewer expansion project on Dracup Avenue, where six-foot pipes are replacing 90 to 100-year-old pipes.

"We've invested millions into drainage and we have one major project on Dracup Avenue, that's where all the water has to get to to get out of the city," Maloney said. "I'm really hopeful it gets finished before the snow falls, we really want to see it done."

Five years ago they considered a project to upgrade the storm system along Broadway Street, but that project came with a $52 million bill. Something the city can't afford on its own.

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