River levels likely to remain constant over next 24 hours: officials
Flooding began in earnest Wednesday as the Moose Jaw River swelled beyond it's banks, flooding roadways in and around Wakamow Valley.
© Justin Crann
The Wakamow Valley boardwalk stands submerged by floodwaters early Wednesday afternoon. The flood continued to spread, eventually filling the Second Avenue underpass.
"We expected the river to rise today, and it has. Around 4 a.m. it started to come over the banks around the Churchill and Wellesley park area and in the River Park area," said Rod Montgomery, deputy chief with the Moose Jaw Fire Department and Emergency Measures Organization co-ordinator. "So we do have some road closures."
Among the roads affected are those in the Wakamow Valley area, as well as the Second Ave. underpass.
The South Hill bus route that runs through the underpass has been diverted to the Ninth Avenue bridge, said Myron Gulka-Tiechko.
An official with the Deer Ridge Golf and Country Club indicated that it has also been flooded.
Though the water has risen, officials are saying that there is no immediate plan to declare a state of emergency.
"Although levels are high, the presence of ice — which caused the jamming in 2011 — is no longer a concern," said Mayor Deb Higgins, in a release. "The City has been working on flood preparations for a number of weeks, including extensive sand bagging in vulnerable areas as well as special precautions around vital infrastructure."
Both the city and Montgomery are indicating that river levels are expected to remain constant for the next one or two days.
"I would suspect for the next 24 to 48 hours, we're going to see (flows) that are pretty well status quo for that time frame," he said. "At this stage, we expect flows to maintain consistency for sure over the next 24 hours."
Montgomery said the city would continue to monitor the river. It will provide twice daily updates regarding the situation over the next few days, Gulka-Tiechko added.