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Water Security Agency Warning of Flooding from Record Alberta Flows

June 21, 2013 - The Water Security Agency is advising the public that record inflows from Alberta will cause flooding along the South Saskatchewan River.

Based on the current rainfall in Alberta, over 6,000 cubic metres per second (m3/s) are estimated to arrive on the South Saskatchewan River into Lake Diefenbaker and estimated to peak on Monday. This will be the highest flow recorded since Lake Diefenbaker was constructed and on the South Saskatchewan River since the early 1900’s.  Typical flows for this time of year is near 500 m3/s.

In anticipation of these record flows, the Water Security Agency is proactively increasing outflows from Lake Diefenbaker to try and mitigate the impact of this event. These outflows will result in some out-of-bank flooding of agricultural land downstream of Lake Diefenbaker and may affect municipal infrastructure near the river. 

As a result of the increased releases, over the weekend flow on the South Saskatchewan River below Lake Diefenbaker will be increased from 800 m3/s to 2,000 m3/s. These releases will cause the river to rise roughly another two metres, which will increase the river velocity significantly.

There is also a major concern on the Saskatchewan River near Cumberland House downstream of where the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers meet.

The Government of Alberta recently issued a high flow advisory for the North Saskatchewan River and this combined with high flows on the South Saskatchewan River will cause flooding along the Saskatchewan River.

The Ministry of Government Relations has been in contact with the affected communities and is beginning the evacuation process for Cumberland House as flows are expected to reach this area next week.

The Water Security Agency continues to monitor the situation and will issue updates as new information dictates.

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For more information, contact:

Patrick Boyle                                                                            Jay Teneycke
Water Security Agency                                                             Government Relations
Moose Jaw                                                                               Regina
Phone: 306-694-8914                                                              Phone: 306-798-6095
Email: Patrick.Boyle@wsask.ca                                                Email: Jay.Teneycke@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-631-6997