The City of Estevan is under a state of emergency after heavy rain backed up storm sewers and basements.
At least 125 millimetres, or almost 5 inches, of rain fell in the southeast Saskatchewan city during a two-hour period Sunday afternoon. Most roads and basements flooded within minutes of the downpour, and the forecast predicts rain for the next three days.
Estevan is preparing for an emergency evacuation if the rain continues.
Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig describes the rain as intense.
“We had power lines down; branches, lots of water, lots of streets flooded and unfortunately we had vehicles…you always have vehicles driving through the flooded streets, which make it worse,” he said.
He said city crews worked well into the night on Sunday to clear storm sewers and drain water away from streets.
“For the most part, most of the streets, the flooding has gone down. I think we have one or two yet that are still receding,” he told News Talk Radio Monday morning.
He noted there is a concern some people might have to be evacuated if the rain continues Monday and Tuesday.
“So far, that rain has held off; but hopefully it will continue to hold off and in the interim we have a lot of flooded basements to deal with,” Ludwig said.
According to Environment Canada Meteorologist Jason Knight, the severe weather is not over yet.
“Very unsettled. Unfortunately for them, there’s light showers this morning (Monday), but more thunderstorms moving through the area this afternoon and rain moving in tonight,” he said.
“We could see some local accumulations; it’s hard to tell from the thunderstorms this afternoon, but certainly they’re looking at another 25 millimetres beginning tonight and into Wednesday morning.”
The weather system has also led to heavy rainfall warnings covering most of southern and central Saskatchewan.
“We’ve had several days of moisture wrapping into the prairies, so we have finally a strongly developed low-pressure system moving into southern Saskatchewan (Monday) and just parking itself there. So quite a bit of the province is under warnings for about 100 millimetres of rain by Wednesday as well,” Knight said.
There’s a chance of some thunderstorms on Monday afternoon, but he said those are expected to transition into steady rain.
Take a look at some of the videos and photos posted on social media showing the flooding in Estevan.
— Mark Kroeker (@paateach) July 11, 2016
— Danielle Barrie (@daniellebarrie) July 11, 2016
— Susan Murphy (@Crayzeelove) July 11, 2016
— ChelseyContintental (@ChelseySKMB) July 10, 2016
— Brad Moser (@bmose423) July 10, 2016
— Aggielicious (@AggieliciousPL) July 10, 2016