River levels peak in Saskatoon

Boat docks, walkways and a part of Spadina Crescent along the South Saskatchewan River is underwater, signs of the high river levels.

Boat docks, walkways and a part of Spadina Crescent along the South Saskatchewan River is underwater, signs of the high river levels.

The  Water Security Agency said river levels have peaked in Saskatoon. There won't be anymore increased releases from Diefenbaker Dam.

"So the peak we saw today, throughout the day in Saskatoon here, that's the highest it's going to get, or what we think it is," said Patrick Boyle, a spokesperson with the Water Security Agency. "And then downstream of Saskatoon, they'll see a similar thing, where it'll continue to rise. It just takes time to move down the system." 

The current water levels could remain high for the next 10 to 14 days, the City of Saskatoon said.

The city reassured residents that there are no drinking water concerns and access is expected to continue.

Stay safe, stay away from the water, city says

The city warned residents, along with their pets, to stay away from the South Saskatchewan River as it prepared for an influx of water not seen in more than 100 years.

Saskatoon police officers are frustrated that some people are still walking too close to the bank along the fast-moving river. Officers could begin handing out fines.

On Sunday, the city said the strong current from that extra water had already broken the river boom and safety net just upstream from the weir. Swimming in the river is prohibited within city limits. The strong river current, shifting riverbed and slippery banks make playing and swimming extremely dangerous, the city said.

As a precaution, it is barricading low-lying roads and parts of the Meewasin Valley Trail where it anticipates flooding.

Residents might encounter more wildlife because their habitat has been flooded and are moving to higher ground, the city said. Drivers and citizens are being asked to remain alert.

Record amount of water released from dam

The Water Security Agency released 2,000 cubic metres per second from the Gardiner Dam to make way for water moving into the province from Alberta. This is a record for the dam and 10 per cent higher than in 2005.

The city is working with the Emergency Management Fire Safety (EMFS) in the placement of barricades for infrastructure, such as the waste water treatment plant, water treatment plant, and lift stations. The city's Emergency Measures Organization is communicating with the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency and EMFS to monitor the situation.

The following locations are closed:

  • Spadina Crescent and the Meewasin Valley Trail at Ravine Drive, and just south of the entrance to the Meewasin Park north shelter.
  • The lower trail at the Mendel Art Gallery where it connects to the upper trail, including access to the Shearwater Tours dock and the Mendel Lookout.
  • River Landing lower trail between the Traffic Bridge and the Sid Buckwold Bridge.
  • The public boat launch in Kiwanis Park, north of the Broadway Bridge.
  • Spadina Crescent underneath the Broadway Bridge.