Regina police warn against unnecessary travel Friday morning after driver rescued from flooded street

·4 min read
A tow truck was seen dragging a small car through the flooded street on 4th Avenue on Friday morning.  (Alexander Quon/CBC - image credit)
A tow truck was seen dragging a small car through the flooded street on 4th Avenue on Friday morning. (Alexander Quon/CBC - image credit)

Drivers in Regina hit wet streets on Friday morning and were asked to avoid flooded underpasses and several impassable streets due to rainfall flooding parts of the city.

On Friday morning, the Regina Fire Department's Water Rescue Team was called to the intersection of Albert Street and Saskatchewan Drive for a trapped vehicle. The driver was rescued and no one was hurt.

Regina received about 50 to 60 millimetres of rainfall over 24 hours, the city said. Crews responded throughout the city on Friday. The city is asking people to stay out of the water near retention ponds that have filled and off flooded streets, because there could be dangers under the water.

Regina police had asked motorists to plan routes carefully and avoid unnecessary travel.

Police said in a release that people should avoid getting stranded on flooded streets after the heavy overnight rainfall. As of 9 a.m. CST on Friday, police say some problem areas are:

  • 2700 block of Garnet Street, where the Wascana Creek is overflowing.

  • Highway 1 bypass at Ring Road between the curve and Albert Street S.

  • Ross Avenue and Winnipeg Street, where two vehicles are stuck in the middle of the road.

  • Sherwood Drive and Sidney Street west, where it's flooded, manhold covers are off and vehicles are stranded.

  • Winnipeg Street and Ross Avenue.

  • Winnipeg Street and College Avenue.

  • Ring Road and Ross Avenue, where the underpass is starting to flood.

  • Lewvan Drive and Dewdney Avenue southbound, where it's flooded and there's a stranded motorist.

  • Rochdale Blvd and Devonshire Drive westbound, where it's flooded.

  • Broad Street and Saskatchewan Drive, where it's flooded.

  • North Railway Street and Albert Street, where it's flooded.

  • Albert Street and Saskatchewan Drive underpass, where it's flooded and barricaded off.

  • First Avenue N. and Broad Street westbound, where it's flooded.

  • Fourth Avenue from Broad Street to Albert Street, where it's flooded.

  • 3800 block Rae Street, where it's flooded.

  • North Victoria Service Road and Ring Road, where an underpass is flooded.

  • Saskatchewan Drive and Halifax Street, where it's flooded.

  • Saskatchewan Drive and Cameron Street, where it's flooded.

Submitted by Regina Fire
Submitted by Regina Fire

In 2019, the city said work on the Albert Street underpass will happen in 2021 and 2022. At the news conference, the city said the underpass has been flooding since 1912 and it's difficult to fix.

"In order to try and determine the best engineered solution to how we deal with the water at that point, it takes time for us to look at that. That process is actually started. We're trying to figure out what is the best recourse to deal with the water at the underpasses," said Helene Henning-Hill, drainage operations manager.

About 25 millimetres of rain fell from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. CST, and that intensity caused the most issues, Henning-Hill said. She said Environment Canada gave citys staff a heads up about the storm, but the rain started before the city could post a public service announcement on its social media pages.

Germain Wilson/CBC
Germain Wilson/CBC

Mark Milleker woke up at about 7 a.m. CST Friday and found the rain piling up outside his garage. He set up a water pump before heading to work and taking a walk around the Transition area near downtown.

"It was just crazy. I mean, I haven't really seen this kind of flooding. It does happen from time to time in Regina, but it hasn't happened like this for a while," Milleker said. "The side streets, some of them are impassable."

Milleker, who goes by SKStormWatcher on Twitter, was expecting some rain, but not the large amount that fell. Milleker is advising anyone driving to stay away from the Transition area and College Avenue between Albert Street and Broad Street.

"I imagine all the sewer systems are just becoming overloaded and so that's why there's just nowhere for the water to drain," Milleker said. "Proceed with caution. If it looks too deep to drive through, definitely stop, turn around, don't bother. I've seen a few stranded cars."

Some streets start clearing Friday morning

Some streets started to show signs of clearing late Friday morning, according to a Regina resident.

Erin Ennis stepped outside earlier in the morning to see her street in the Transition area completely flooded. Both her and her boyfriend's cars had water up almost past their tires.

"I was a bit concerned because the water was quite steadily rising and it was flooding across the street as well," Ennis said. "But it all ended okay."

Ennis's neighbours worked to get the debris from yesterday's wind removed from the drains and Ennis was able to move the vehicles up the street a bit. The water took about three hours to completely go down the drains and the area was no longer flooded by around 10 a.m. CST.

"We've had years where we had excessive rainfall … But I've never seen flooding in front of where I live," Ennis said. "The scenes around the city are quite remarkable."

Alexander Quon/CBC
Alexander Quon/CBC