The high water from Alberta is flowing into Saskatchewan now and many communities have noticed higher levels on rivers over the last day or two. While the damage might not be as severe as in Calgary, High River and other towns and cities in southern Alberta, Saskatchewan isn't totally exempt.
The flood water from Alberta is making an impact in Saskatchewan, with the peak expected to reach the border some time on Monday.
"Based on what we're seeing from Alberta, we're now expecting 5,600 cubic meters per second coming in to Lake Diefenbaker," said Patrick Boyle of the Water Security Agency (WSA) in an update to the media Monday morning. While the number is below the level initially expected, it is still 12 times the typical flow at the lake and the highest seen in 100 years.
The unprecedented river flows that have ravaged much of southern Alberta devastating Calgary and High River in particular are now making their way to Saskatchewan.
The Water Security Agency (WSA) is predicting water flows at Lake Diefenbaker will peak on Monday. To prepare, outflows from the Gardiner Dam have been increased from 800 m3/s to 2,000 m3/s. That has turned the Dam’s spillway into a raceway of water.
Calgary’s downtown remains without power as people trickle in to check on their businesses following a weekend of heavy flooding.
Evacuation orders in most of the city have been lifted as water from the Bow and Elbow rivers recedes. About 65,000 people can return to check on their homes.
There are still a few areas deemed unsafe for people to go into, clustered mainly near the downtown core.
The streets were mostly empty in the city’s core save for people who had come to see the damage and business owners getting started with what is sure to be a monumental cleanup.
Expect water levels to peak on the South Saskatchewan River Sunday evening.
The Water Security Agency increased the flow on the South Saskatchewan River to 2,000 cubic metres per second Sunday.
“It was expected we would see increased water levels 23 to 27 hours by the time it got here and we’re thinking supper time [Sunday] is when the levels will peak,” said Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services Chief Dan Paulsen.
Cumberland House was almost completely evacuated by noon Sunday, though shelters weren't totally ready.
The community declared a state of emergency Saturday after warnings from the province’s Water Security Agency (WSA) about an oncoming flood. Heavy rains in both North and South Alberta are causing both of Saskatchewan’s two main rivers to swell, with flow rates into Lake Diefenbaker expected to hit 6,000 m³/s early this week. And all that water is expected to cause severe enough flooding in Cumberland House to wash out its only access road.
A Regina woman has started a disaster relief program for residents in Calgary who have been affected by severe floods over the last five days.
More than three-quarters of those evacuated from their homes in Calgary have now been allowed into their homes to assess the damage. But many of those individuals have lost everything, inspiring Regina’s Laura Pettigrew to take action.
“I was watching it streaming live on my laptop, and I was dumbfounded,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘It takes one person. I can do this.’”
Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park has begun preparations as water levels begin to rise on Lake Deifenbaker.
On Thursday, Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency (WSA) warned anyone near the South Saskatchewan River that inflows could increase to about 12 times the normal rate by Tuesday as water rushes in from Southern Alberta.
But according to park supervisor Sheldon Kowalchuk, the lake has already begun rising.
“We closed 43 campsites along with the group camping,” he said, saying he’s had to move around a dozen campers out of low-lying areas.
A section of Highway 2, approximately 18 kilometers north of Prince Albert, has been closed again.
It was reopened yesterday afternoon after road crews fixed a washed out section of the highway on the north side of Little Red River bridge.
The same water-flow issues have now caused a similar washout situation on the south side of the bridge, said Robin Briere with the ministry of highways.
She said a road crew will be at the scene by 10 a.m. and will begin to evaluate the problem and make repairs.