Skip to content

Roche Percee recovery moving slowly

"Slow." That was Reg Jahn's response when asked how the recovery is going in Roche Percee.


That was Reg Jahn's response when asked how the recovery is going in Roche Percee.

The mayor of the village that was devastated by the June flooding said the recovery process is not moving nearly as fast as he, or the displaced residents of the community would like now that the waters have receded and the assessment of the damage has begun.

Jahn said the village has been having a difficult time getting its water and sewer system operational again. They recently were able to get water flowing but the sewer system has proven to be a tough nut to crack.

They are also waiting for a maintenance engineer from the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program to come to Roche Percee and assess what can be salvaged and what can't.

"The people are getting a little antsy. Everybody would like an answer on whether their house is written off or not," said Jahn, who estimates the damage could eventually reach the $10 million mark. "They had a structural engineer down to look at the place but nobody has gotten an answer yet.

"Things are really in limbo, it's not good. People like to be stable and like to know what is going on. Nothing seems to be moving forward, everything has stopped. I don't know what to do to get it to roll forward, but we have to start working because we are not that far away from August and then when you get to September and October the snow can fly. People are a little ants,y and I am too."

After fending off the first three spring floods, Roche Percee was defenceless against the fourth as water from the Rafferty Dam and Boundary Dam reservoirs flowed into the Souris River at record rates.

On June 19 the water finally topped the village's dikes and within hours every house with the exception of those higher up on the hill were flooded.

Although there is some standing water left in the village, the Souris River has receded but the damage it left behind is remarkable. Trees and branches are strewn all-over and items such as campers have been completely destroyed.

Jahn said the town's infrastructure has also taken a major hit. There are soft spots on many of their roads and the Ministry of Highways has closed the highway into Roche Percee, although Jahn said many people are still using it.

"The road that comes in from the old airport is totally washed out and seeing as that is part of the dike road we are waiting from word from PDAP or the Sask. Watershed Authority on how we should proceed and who will fund it. That road there is truly gone and needs major reconstruction.

"The dike is also in bad shape and needs repairs and again, we need answers from PDAP and watershed authority about whose dime it is."

Jahn said homes in the village are also in terrible shape. He estimates that at least 35 residences are likely to be condemned although the final decision has yet to be made.

"The floors are warped and mould has grown tremendously quick. I know in my house, in a matter of two days mould has basically taken over the basement. Those who had flooding upstairs, which was most of them, mould has taken over the whole house."

Now that they have had a good chance to assess the extent of the damage, Jahn said many residents have said they would still like to return to the village and rebuild their homes. However, he said there are a few who plan to move but would stay in Roche Percee if lots were made available on higher ground.

"The community is worth living in."

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks