A report released Monday by the Water Security Agency (WSA) is forecasting a “very high” runoff for Moose Jaw and the surrounding area.
“The potential is there for flooding and in the very high category we would say flooding is likely to occur,” said Ken Cheveldayoff, minister responsible for the WSA.
“It’s kind of a one-in-25 year event ... so we’re very concerned, and we’re talking to people across the province to make sure they’re prepared for the changes we may face in the coming weeks.”
Annual runoff is directly impacted by the amount of snowfall had over a winter, Cheveldayoff said, but the speed at which the runoff occurs — and, thus, the likelihood of flooding — is influenced by the speed of the melt and the presence of additional precipitation.
In order to combat the damage that could be caused by a swift runoff, he said, the WSA is working with various parties to raise awareness and encourage “mitigating action.”
“We’re starting with individual property owners to make sure they clear their stormwater catch basins, shovel or remove snow from around the home, clear channels of ice and snow, (and) ensure downspouts are extended so they discharge rainwater a minimum distance from their homes,” Cheveldayoff said.
“Beyond that,” he added, “we’re working with the municipalities and communities on specific plans for each of their areas.”
“The leaders in those communities know their areas just as well as anybody, and we’re just encouraging them to use the expertise contained within the WSA to help them with any respective mitigation,” said Cheveldayoff.