R.M. of Torch River declares local emergency over roads

The reeve of the Rural Municipality of Torch River says high water levels and river ice have made travel impossible on many roads in the area.

On Monday, the R.M. declared a state of local emergency as it attempts to deal with the situation.

"The White Fox Bridge is going to be out for some time," said Reeve Louise Nicklen. "There are other bridges out, too. So, that will take a while for all of them to be back in operation."

The province's northeast has been hit hard by localized flooding. The situation has been made worse by thicker-than-usual river ice, dislodged by unseasonably warm temperatures.

"One bridge is washed right out," she said. "With the White Fox Bridge, the ice came up over top of it, and we have to have the engineers look at it, so that we can find out if it's safe to drive on."

River ice dams have flooded farmland in the Erwood, Sask., area and caused 100 people on the James Smith Cree Nation to leave their homes.

The Water Security Agency says it is also monitoring the situation near the Battle River, where ice jams regularly form.

Now that it has declared a state of local emergency, the R.M. will be able to access special funding from the provincial government.

It's not clear when the roads and bridges will be back up and running.

The R.M. is located north of the town of Nipawin.