The Wakamow Valley Authority (WVA) and homeowners living in the valley are bracing for the potential flooding forecast in a Water Security Agency (WSA) report yesterday.
“This year, we’re definitely concerned that there is going to be some flooding. I’m not sure how, exactly, I’m going to deal with it,” said Rick Klein, a resident with property in the valley.
“Flooding is always an issue, every spring.”
The concerns are springing from the WSA’s March runoff report, in which the City of Moose Jaw falls under the “very high” ranking for projected runoff, reflecting a 1-in-25-year event in which “flooding is likely.”
Klein said he had managed to mitigate damage to his home in the last flood, which happened in 2011 after a particular dry autumn, but that his yard and the other structures on it were badly hit.
“I am anticipating water going across my property, and I do have some plans about how to deal with it,” Klein said.
One of those steps, he said, is that he has established a dyke to surround his property that should protect it — provided it doesn’t get clogged with snow and ice.
According to Margaret Moran, acting CEO of Wakamow Valley, flooding is “a regular occurrence” in the valley.
“(Flooding) is something that Wakamow and other residents in the Valley have to prepare for every spring,” she said.
Moran said the Wakamow Valley Authority would work to protect the structures it manages, with particular attention paid to the Kiwanis River Park Building near the Skating Oval.
“That is the only building that we have that suffered water damage in the last flood, so we will be protecting it by sandbagging,” she said.
Ultimately, though, the potential for a flood will be determined by the speed of the melt, the amount of precipitation in the spring, and whether or not large chunks of ice are present in the river.
“Mother Nature is the one that controls if we’re going to be impacted by flood waters. She likes to throw us a surprise every now and then,” Moran said. “Some are better than others.”