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Friday flood update

No change in outflows today

The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority is reporting there will be no changes in outflow from the Rafferty and Boundary Dam Reservoirs today.

In the provincial government's daily flood conference call, Dale Hjertaas of the SWA said the reservoirs are declining slowly and the outflows will remain at 490 cubic metres per second. Hjertaas said there will likely be a reduction on Saturday but did not indicate how much that might be.

Hjertaas said there remains a serious risk to the Town of Lampman but noted town employees and volunteers have been hard at work shoring up the dikes and sandbagging in the area to stop the water.

Parts of Benson have been flooded forcing the evacuation of some residents. Teams of volunteers remain on the scene working to limit the damage to homes in the Hamlet.

Other notes from the call:

The evacuation shelter in Estevan is largely empty now that the evacuation has been lifted at Willow Park Greens. However, the shelter, which is now located at the Civic Auditorium, will remain open and is still registering people from Benson and Roche Percee. There are also some food services being provided at the shelter.

"We are responding to calls for assistance from those communities and giving them a warm shoulder to cry on and we are helping them make referrals to some of the other resources we need," said Norm Vetter of the Ministry of Social Services.

As well, 63 people sought information at the Estevan Recovery Centre at St. Joseph's Hospital, 47 of whom have been displaced from their homes.

Roads remains a concern in the area. Highway 47 south will remain closed with sections of the pavement near the bridge over the Souris River washed out.

Traffic on Highway 39 south of Estevan is still down to one lane for light vehicles only. Also, a hole developed in the road at the abutment to the bridge near Roche Percee. Crews filled the hole with large rock which should prevent further erosion to the abutment.

Getting coal to the Boundary Dam Power Station remains an issue. They are now able to access a coal pit near the power plant and expect to get 6,000 tonnes of coal into Boundary today which will allow them to produce 350 to 400 megawatts of electricity, roughly half of the plant's capacity.

James Parker of SaskPower said it could be months before the coal haul road, which is currently flooded, is usable again.

"It will be out of action for some time which constrains our ability to get coal to the plant so we will not be at full capacity at Boundary Dam for a number of weeks into the future," said Parker who added they are working to reinforce the Rafferty Dam road to allow them to truck in supplies to the plant.

The City of Estevan also issued its daily report:

The Reception Centre has been moved to the Civic Auditorium and continues to host evacuees from the Hamlet of Benson and the Village of Roche Percee. They will continue to accept evacuees and the contact number will remain as 634-1876. Counselling will be available at the Estevan Recovery Service Centre at St. Joseph's Hospital. The Souris Valley Aquatic and Leisure Centre has reopened to the public.

The Estevan Recovery Service Centre at St. Joseph's Hospital is available for flood and water damage victims including seepage issues. Numerous provincial and local agencies will be in attendance to offer assistance regarding the local water issues. The Service Centre will be open every day until June 29, 2011 from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Please use the South East entrance (long term care entrance).

Residents travelling are encouraged to contact the Highway Hotline before travelling.

Highway 39 East is down to one lane with heavy load restrictions

Highway 47 North continues to be down to one lane

Highway 39 West has water flowing over at Macoun with the Department of Highways assisting traffic.

City of Estevan Humane Society access road is open but use caution.

Highway 18 West and Highway 47 South remain closed. These two highways are extremely dangerous at this time due to the washout below the asphalt surface. Rafferty Dam Road continues to be used for local traffic only

Estevan Police Service and Estevan Fire and Rescue Service require residents to stay away from affected areas. Anyone caught disobeying barricades or road closures will be charged.

Residents are reminded that floodwaters are extremely dangerous. Floating debris and other water hazards above and beneath the surface are dangerous for all watercraft. All power lines are energized and should be considered dangerous. At the moment, power lines are close to the surface so watercraft could come into contact with energized lines. Rescues are extremely dangerous for Fire and Rescue Services personnel.

The Water Treatment Plant is fully operational. The City Landfill is open and accessible by the north road only.

The emergency information number 306-634-1855 will be available during the day. After hours, there will be a message with information. Please call the Estevan Police Service or 911 if you have an emergency.

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