Several cabins at Meeting Lake Regional Park, 90 kilometres northeast of North Battleford, were flooded last Wednesday in a storm. Now cabin-owners are hoping for a permanent solution.
Meeting Lake floods often, according to residents. Cabin-owners are currently battling continuing rising water with sandbagging and pumps.
Barry Kramer's cabin is one of the ones that flooded. He said it has happened every year since he bought the cabin in 2016, but this year is the worst due to high winds and storms.
Kramer said his cabin was built below the projected lake level.
"Something has to be done," Kramer said.
"There are cabins beside me that people have bought as recently as the long weekend in May, and there's nothing in their lease agreements that is saying your cabin is below the projected lake level."
The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency said a berm was installed at Meeting Lake in 2014 to stop the water from reaching the cabins, but the water continues to rise. The agency is in the process of raising the berm.
Kramer said he was told he didn't have to worry about flooding when he bought his cabin.
"They keep telling us that if the lake raises another few inches it will start running out naturally. So they were going to build this berm up two feet and then that should give us the protection we need and [the water] will start running out," Kramer said.
"That that might be. But the sections that they have still up already ... the waves are compromising it."
Patrick Boyle, a spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency, said he understands the residents' frustration.
"The lake has certainly had a history of going up and down," said Boyle.
"A significant amount of rainfall fell in a very short period of time — roughly three inches in a very small window. And that was combined with some serious wind and wave action."
Water Security Agency has been working with the Meeting Lake community since 2014 through the emergency flood damage reduction program.
Thanks to $530,000 in grants from the program, temporary berms were constructed at Regional Park on the west and north side of the lake.
Boyle said the berm is a temporary solution, but that building an outlet is a massive and long project. He said that will need to be addressed by various stakeholders in the park.
"We surveyed the outlet of the lake, and the topography of the area is very difficult. It's very flat at the outlet."
Boyle said that in order to push water out of Meeting Lake, man-made ditches and channels running roughly 27 kilometres downstream would need to be constricted.
"This involves many different stakeholders. And when we're talking about artificially lowering a lake and going 27 kilometres downstream, it's a very complex thing. Moving water around is not an easy or quick solution."