'Hard time keeping up': Rain fills sewers, floods streets in southeast Sask.

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Heavy rain caused localized flooding on sidewalks and streets in the town of Esterhazy, Sask., on May 13, 2022.  (Grant Forster/submitted - image credit)
Heavy rain caused localized flooding on sidewalks and streets in the town of Esterhazy, Sask., on May 13, 2022. (Grant Forster/submitted - image credit)

Heavy downpours are causing flooding concerns for some Saskatchewan communities.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issued rainfall warnings Friday for southeastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba.

The weather agency says a low-pressure system coming up from North Dakota is bringing widespread rainfalls of 30 to 60 millimetres — which can cause flash floods, water pooling on roads and localized flooding in low-lying areas — and wind gusts up to 80 km/h.

The town of Moosomin, which has been in the crosshairs of recent spring snowstorms, is just west of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border.

Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson told CBC News the wet weather started Thursday night and brought around 60 millimetres of rain by morning.

"Our sewers are at full capacity and we're having a hard time keeping up, " Tomlinson said Friday afternoon.

"I'm sure some people have a little bit of water in their basements because they're having a hard time keeping ahead of it."

Larry Tomlinson/submitted
Larry Tomlinson/submitted

The city of Weyburn, located 115 km southeast of Regina, also had reports of 60 millimetres of rain by 7:30 a.m. CST Friday.

The downpour even prompted the city to issue a notice Friday morning, asking residents to reduce water use for non-essential purposes. It was lifted around 4 p.m. CST.

By 10 a.m. CST Friday, the nearby southeastern city of Estevan had already recorded 43 mm of rain, according to ECCC.

Even the more western cities of Regina and Moose Jaw saw respective totals of 35.5 mm and 34.3 mm by 3 p.m. CST.

Catch basins and storm drains were also getting blocked in the town of Esterhazy, 83 km southeast of Yorkton.

"[Crews] were out cleaning the drains, to make sure we weren't getting backed up into the streets, but with that much rain, obviously it carries a lot of debris," said Mayor Grant Forster.

Forster said the town will continue to monitor the rain and have crews out into Saturday if needed.

ECCC forecasts the heaviest rain will begin tapering off from south to north later Friday, but showery weather will last into the first half of the weekend.

The weather agency is also predicting more rain in the forecast for Tuesday, an unpleasant reality for the mayor of Moosomin.

"That's really not what we needed to hear," said Tomlinson.

"We'll get caught up after this one, but we're going to have to do something more permanent in the future to keep ahead with the sewer system."

Submitted by Colleen Broda
Submitted by Colleen Broda
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