Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sewer Systems and Highways Overwhelmed by Downpours in Saskatchewan

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sewer Systems and Highways Overwhelmed by Downpours in Saskatchewan

Article excerpt

Rain drenches Prairies, closing highways


MELVILLE, Sask. - Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency on Sunday after a deluge of rain drenched southeast Saskatchewan and parts of Manitoba.

Melville, about 140 kilometres northwest of Regina, declared a state of local emergency after rain overwhelmed the city's storm and domestic sewer systems, as well as its lift stations.

The Saskatchewan government said the Town of Carnduff, the Rural Municipality of Mount Pleasant and the Village of Maryfield have also declared local emergencies.

The government warned that about a dozen other communities were in the process of doing the same as heavy rain continued.

Moosomin mayor Larry Tomlinson said close to a third of his town was suffering flood damage and that the rain was still falling Sunday afternoon.

"Part of our town looks like lakes," said Tomlinson. "We'll just try to keep up to it. It's all we can do."

RCMP said many highways were closed and that secondary roads were also impassable. One bridge on Highway 55 in Saskatchewan had washed out. And Highway 1 was closed near Wolseley because it was under more than a metre of water, police said.

As the sky continued to let loose, patients in a health centre in Gainsborough in the R.M. of Mount Pleasant were moved out. Later Sunday, firefighters went door-to-door advising everyone to leave.

"Right now the last road out of Gainsborough has about four inches of water over it and the village is flooding itself," said Kris Carley, the emergency measures co-ordinator for the rural municipality.

The village's mayor said residents were going to evacuation centres in nearby Carnduff or had gone to stay with relatives.

"There's probably 50 houses full of water," Vic Huish said, noting businesses were flooded, too.

"It's going to be a disaster."

John Fahlman with the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency said the storm came from the northern U.S. and hit the region near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boundary the hardest. …

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