Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flood damage 'extensive' in southern Saskatchewan

CTV Edmonton (Canada): Yet more rain was falling along the southern Alberta-Saskatchewan border Monday, but officials said water levels were lower than expected after three days of rain led to heavy flooding. Environment Canada forecast up to 30 millimetres of rain for parts of southern Alberta Monday, including in Medicine Hat, where hundreds of residents have already been evacuated due to prior flooding.

Medicine Hat Fire Chief Ron Robinson told reporters Monday the swollen South Saskatchewan River "is flowing lower than was anticipated, so we don't believe that the same impact will occur as was experienced this weekend."

CTV Calgary's Kevin Rich reported that 600 homes are still under an evacuation alert, while another 230 homes are on evacuation notice. "The overriding concern right now is outside of Medicine Hat … A lot of the rural areas are totally underwater. Some are under two feet of moisture," Rich reported Monday from the city.

Rob Renner, Alberta's environment minister, said irrigation canals are completely underwater, as are fields of crops, which will be devastating to local farmers. "Those simply are not going to be replanted," Renner said. "So there's huge impact, not only on the infrastructure … but clearly the crops that are underwater right now are not likely to be harvested this fall and there's no time to re-seed."

The normally arid Medicine Hat has received 150 millimetres of rain since Friday. The rain has closed the Trans-Canada Highway between Medicine Hat and Maple Creek, Sask., and it is unclear when it will reopen….

South Saskatchewan near Medicine Hat, shot in 2008 by Paul Jerry, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

No comments: