Canada – Emergencies Declared After Further Floods Hit Saskatchewan Communities

Two more communities have declared a state of emergency after further heavy rainfall and flooding in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The towns of Arborfield and Carrot River were both badly hit by flooding that began on Monday, 11 July, and local authorities declared a state emergency in both communities yesterday, 12 July. This follows the state of emergency declared in Estevan the previous day after 127 mm of rain fell in under 3 hours.

In Carrot River, local media report that around 100 mm of rain fell in two hours, causing floods that have damaged at least 50 homes in the town of around 1,000 people.

In a statement on the emergency declaration, town officials said:

“Residents are notified that they need to limit their usage of the sanitary sewer system until further notification and that the storm sewer system is still at or near capacity. Protection or clean up of your property is tantamount at this time. We have volunteers and employees actively pumping water into the storm ditch. Should you have access to a sump pump from your basement, you MUST pump the sewage onto the street so that it becomes a part of the storm system. We have been given permission to do this from the ministry of the environment.”

Around 30 km to the south, in the town of Arborfield, authorities also declared a state of emergency after the heavy rain and rising levels of a local creek threatened to breach a dike to the south of the town. Local residents worked frantically to shore up the dike with sandbags.

The threat was considered severe enough for authorities to issue a town-wide mandatory evacuation order. SaskAlert, Saskatchewan’s Emergency Public Alerting program and app, said:

“The Town of Arborfield has issued a mandatory evacuation order for the entire town as flood waters approach that have the potential to create dangerous situations and extreme flooding….All residents within the Town of Arborfield are ordered to self evacuate if they can. If residents require evacuation assistance, they are to contact the town office.”

The town is still under a Critical Alert (the highest level, meaning imminent life threatening danger) for flash floods, which according to SaskAlert, will remain in place until Friday 15 July, 2016.

Rainfall

Environment Canada said on Monday that the rain was brought by a slow-moving low pressure system over Saskatchewan. However, the weather system has since passed and there are no further warnings for heavy rain from Environment Canada. River levels may still remain high for several days however.

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Flood summary

Last updated: July 13, 2016
Event
Saskatchewan, Canada, July 2016
Date
July 10 to July 13, 2016
Type
Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
A slow-moving low pressure system over Saskatchewan brought torrential rain and flooding, prompting 3 towns - Estevan, Carrot River and Arborfield - to declare a state of emergency.

Locations

A - Arborfield
B - Carrot River
C - Estevan

Magnitude

Rainfall level
127 mm in 24 hours
Estevan - July 11 to July 11, 2016
Local Estevan officials said the 127 mm fell in 2.5 hours on the afternoon of 11 July, 2016.

Damages

Evacuated
400 people
Arborfield - July 12 to July 12, 2016
Arborfield issued a mandatory evacuation order for the entire town. It is not clear how many people followed the evacuation order.