The Government of Saskatchewan is asking First Nations and rural communties to get ready for potential flooding.
Emergency management commissioner Duane Mackay said the province has a stockpile of equipment left over from previous flood years that is ready to be sent out should communities need it.
“All types of flood barriers, sandbags, pumps, hose all of the generators required to operate (them). So the province is well-provisioned,” he said.
Mackay said the province is monitoring areas from Assiniboia in the south right up to Prince Albert in the north, with systems expected to dump between 75 and 100 millimetres of rain.
“Within there there could be embedded thunder cells, so some areas could get quite a bit more rain than that,” Mackay said.
Mackay said the Red Cross has handed out 300 flood cleanup kits in the city of Estevan, where recovery continues from flooding brought by heavy rains.
City advises people to check houses, prepare downspouts and eavestroughs
The City of Saskatoon is urging homeowners to get downspouts and eavestroughs cleared ahead of what’s expected to be heavy rains between Monday and Wednesday.
Director of transportation and utlities Jeff Jorgenson said owners of older homes need to take extra care to check for leaks and make sure that their property is landscaped to keep water flowing away from houses.
“Homes designed and built before about 1960, so before the weeping tile, those homes are more susceptible to that surface flooding problem, or seepage flooding in their basements,” he said.
Currently, stormwater sewers are designed to handle an amount of water that would be expected in a once-every-two-years storm event, with streets designed to channel any water beyond that into stormwater ponds or other designated locations. Jorgenson said stormwater sewers were still designed to hold that much water before 1989, but the streets themselves weren’t always as well-designed to channel overflow.
Jorgenson said that could mean homes built before 1989 face more risk, but generally, he said that water would be expected to pool in the streets.
In the event of flooding, Jorgenson urged drivers and pedestrians to avoid any streets that are blocked by water.
“Take another route, but do not go through it. Your car can stall. There can be manhole lids that come off in those areas too that you can’t see because they’re under water,” he said.
Jorgenson said city crews were checking storm drains ahead of the expected storm. He said people should contact the city should a storm drain in their community become blocked.