Minimal flooding risk in Moose Jaw

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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Around 7 a.m. on April 8, 2014, water across Thatcher Drive West near Simcoe Street resulted in a road closure.

EMO co-ordinator says data indicates water levels declining

There is a small chance of major flooding in Moose Jaw this year.

“We have a couple spots that are earmarked on the waterway in the Moose Jaw River as it’s coming into the city that give us that 24-hour heads up as to what kind of conditions we can see here in the city,” said Brian Wilson, emergency measure organization (EMO) co-ordinator and deputy fire chief with the Moose Jaw Fire Department.

“So far we’re not seeing anything that’s alarming. The water levels in Thunder Creek and the Moose Jaw River, certainly the data that we’re seeing at this stage of the game appear to have already peaked or reached that crest and are starting to decline.”

He added there isn’t much residual snow remaining on the ground in the surrounding area where the water comes from.

“There’s less water than perhaps what we’ve seen in previous years at the same time frame. So, as a result of that, our deduction is that we’re not likely to see any significant flooding,” said Wilson. “That’s not to say that there may not be some localized issues.”

If people notice any catch basins not functioning properly, they should let the city know.

Wilson said the city received less snow this year and has seen a pretty slow melt with warmer daytime temperatures and cooler temperatures at night.

“That’s allowed some water to flow, but not accumulate that massive backlog. So those factors are certainly playing to our advantage this year and I think certainly we’re ever vigilant, especially in the spring thaws, in terms of what’s going on,” he said.

In 2011 and 2013 there was some significant flooding, but he said each year the city can get better data and figure out how to monitor for potential flooding conditions.

“Certainly if we have an unusual breakup of ice, that’s something that we would need to look at, but at this point it seems to be melting rather than breaking up and causing ice jams. So we’re keeping an eye on those conditions as well,” said Wilson. “If Mother Nature turned and gave us a real dumping of water or rain, then that’s something we would need to re-evaluate.”

There was some water across Thatcher Drive West around 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning near Simcoe Street that resulted in a road closure. Wilson said by the time he got out there after a meeting around 10 or 10:30 a.m., there was no water left.

“We had a little bit of a blip as a result of the warm temperatures (Monday). It’s already moved on and was resolved in a fairly short time frame,” said Wilson. “We’re pretty confident that things will be fairly smooth.”

Residents are reminded to make sure they have proper drainage away from their homes, stay off the ice and keep an eye on their surroundings.

For more information on flood preparation, visit www.moosejaw.ca.

Organizations: Moose Jaw Fire Department

Geographic location: Moose Jaw River, Thunder Creek, Simcoe Street

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