A sudden and fierce storm flooded streets in a city gripped by a water shortage.
Prince Albert was hammered by heavy rain – between 50-100 millimetres in some parts of the city – Thursday night.
The city and surrounding areas are still working to restore water services after a recent oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River.
People there haven’t been allowed to wash their cars or water lawns since the weekend. A fire ban has also been issued for the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert in efforts to conserve water.
This is the third time P.A. streets have flooded this summer.
— Jeff D’Andrea (@jeff_dandrea) July 28, 2016
Recent rain hurting river clean-up: expert
An oil spill expert from the University of Saskatchewan said Thursday night’s rain won’t help recovery efforts in the North Saskatchewan River.
“This certainly complicates things in the initial clean-up,” said Dr. John Giesy, a professor and Canada research chair of environmental toxicology.
Giesy said the rain will make river areas muddy and harder to manoeuvre equipment.
He likened the situation to making coffee – where water running through a filter continues to extract flavour from grinds. The process will eventually become helpful as the river begins to clean itself.
Giesy expects the North Saskatchewan River to be mostly free of oil from the spill in a couple of years.
“It’s a bad situation, but it’s not as bad as what people fear,” Giesy said. “These things happen all the time, and eventually they get resolved.”
Trace amounts of oil will still be found under rocks or buried for a long time.
The professor said people can still find traces of oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska.
– With files from paNOW.com.