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Thursday flood update

The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority says the outflows from the two local reservoirs are continuing to drop.

The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority says the outflows from the two local reservoirs are continuing to drop.

In the daily provincial flood conference call, Dale Hjertaas of the SWA, said declining inflows into both the Boundary Dam and Rafferty Dams have allowed them to reduce the outflows to the Souris River.

"(Boundary) has now dropped below its full supply level and this morning we reduced the outflow from 260 to 190 cubic metres per second," said Hjertaas. "At Rafferty, inflows are also declining. The level, which was up above it maximum allowable level, is now a half metre below the maximum level. That provides some capacity to handle another rain event. Inflows will be reduced today to around 300 m3/s.

"That will produce later today a new flow rate of about 490 through Estevan."

As for what impact the reductions are having, Hjertaas said staff at the City's water treatment plant observed that Wednesday's decreases led to a seven-inch drop of the Souris River.

"Four hundred and ninety is still a very high flow in the Souris. It would have been a record flow if we hadn't just had the ones over 600 that we had a couple of days ago."

Hjertaas added they were informed a flood berm in Benson failed Wednesday which has caused some flooding in that community. He added the berm's failure will also send more water towards Lampman where they are battling to keep a lake of water outside the town from breaching their dikes and sandbags.

As for the next few days, Hjertaas said there is rain in the forecast for Friday and although they do have some storage, they can't make any predictions without knowing how rain the area will get.

Corrections, Public Safety and Policing spokesperson Judy Orthner reported some residents have been moved from Benson and the water is continuing to rise. Some Lampman residents have also been evacuated as a precautionary measure due to the water situation there.

In the City of Estevan's daily update it was noted that the Reception Centre at the Souris Valley Aquatic and Leisure Centre continues to host evacuees from the Hamlet of Benson, the Village of Roche Percee and the Willow Park Greens Trailer Park residents. There were a total of 27 people throughout the night.

The Reception Centre will be moved to the Civic Auditorium as of 8:00 a.m. on Friday, June 24, 2011. 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 will reopen to regular hours at 4:00 p.m. today.
Residents travelling are encouraged to contact the Highway Hotline for before travelling. The Department of Highways has advised that Highway 39 East is down to one lane with possible closure and 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 closed at this time. Highway 18 West and Highway 47 South remain closed. 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.

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