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Arborfield issues evacuation order as breach gives way to approaching floodwaters

Posted by on 21/11/2018

More Saskatchewan communities have declared local states of emergency due to excessive rainfall.

The Government of Saskatchewan announced at 3:45 p.m. CT on Tuesday that a mandatory evacuation order has been issued by Arborfield.

A hold back road around 13 kilometres south of the town has given way. The structure normally holds back about “one mile of water.”

The breach is reportedly 27 metres wide and flowing towards the west side of Arborfield. Floodwaters are expected to reach town in the next few hours.

According to Saskatchewan’s emergency public alerting program, SaskAlert, approaching floodwaters have the potential to create dangerous situations and extreme flooding.

Door-to-door notifications have begun to evacuate approximately 400 residents. All residents are ordered to self evacuate and if they require assistance, they can contact the town office.

Residents are asked to register at the reception centre located at the Blue Bird Hotel at 101 Spruce Haven Road in Melfort. Once registered, evacuees can access assistance through emergency social services.

This photo taken on Monday shows the mass of water that has been breached south of Arborfield.


A hold back road around 13 kilometres south of Arborfield has given way. This photo was taken on Tuesday afternoon.

Francis Dwight Hainstock / Supplied

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  • Rain washes out Highway 165 in northern Saskatchewan

    On Tuesday, the province said the town and rural municipality (RM) of Arborfield, south of Carrot River, have declared local states of emergency.

    READ MORE: Saskatoon homeowners can act against flooding during rain storm

    Carrot River declared a local state of emergency after the community, located approximately 290 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, received over 68 millimetres of rain by 8 a.m. CT on Tuesday.

    According to the most recent update from the town, pumps are operating at peak capacity and people are being asked to refrain from excessive use of water as the sewer system is working at full capacity.

    This includes running dishwashers, washing machines and to limit baths and showers.

    Officials say water continues to remain safe for use.

    Two sinkholes have also opened up in the town, one on Railway Avenue and the other on 3rd Avenue.

    A number of highways east of Carrot River are currently closed due to flooding or washouts, including Highway 55 from Shoal Lake Access to the junction of Highway 9.

    For the latest road conditions, check Saskatchewan’s highway hotline.

    READ MORE: Rainfall warning continued for Saskatchewan areas

    The slow moving, low pressure weather system over southeastern areas of the province will result in additional accumulations Tuesday and Wednesday as it moves into Manitoba. Over the last two days, a number of areas have reported precipitation in excess of 80 mm.

    Rainfall could bring another 10 to 25 mm to central-and east-central Saskatchewan Tuesday.

    The Water Security Agency (WSA) is advising the public that there are some out-of-bank flows from the recent storm system. Heavy rainfall resulted in a significant response in smaller streams and tributaries in the areas hardest hit by storms.

    Tributary flows in the lower Saskatchewan River Basin, including the Torch and Carrot Rivers and other tributaries are either flooding or approaching out-of-bank flooding.

    This encompasses the area east of Nipawin toward Cumberland House and southeast of Nipawin towards Hudson Bay.  Flows on Burntout Brook near Arborfield and the Pasquia River at Highway 9 are at record levels. Flows are expected to continue to rise over the coming week.

    Estevan declared a state of emergency on Monday after the city in the southeast corner of the province received five inches of rain over a short period of time on Sunday.

    READ MORE: Estevan under state of emergency after city hit by heavy rainfall

    City officials are working with the province’s disaster assistance relief plan and are encouraging residents to document and take pictures of any property damage.

    In southwest Saskatchewan, general accumulations for the most part were between 35 and 45 mm. This has resulted in some high flows in the upper part of the Notukeu Creek and Wood River basins.

    Direct rainfall over Buffalo Pound, Last Mountain, and Crooked lakes resulted in levels rising slightly above the upper end of their desirable operating ranges. All are still well below levels where flood damage would occur.

    Much of southern Saskatchewan remains under a rainfall warning, with 70 to 100 mm of rain expected by Wednesday morning.

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