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After the rains, flooding forces evacuations, shuts down highways on the Prairies

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 11:37 AM - The rains may have tapered off on the Prairies, but ongoing flooding has forced the evacuation of a hospital in Saskatchewan and hundreds of homes in that province and neighbouring Manitoba.

The Canadian Press reports St. Peter's Hospital in Melville, 145 km northeast of Regina, is under a full-scale evacuation after a nearby dam began to overflow.

The patients are being moved to a nearby rink. Melville is one of around 60 communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba that have declared states of emergency after days-long downpours drenched the region with more than 100 mm of rain in some areas.

Around 500 people have had to evacuate their homes in both provinces so far, with others at risk as the waters remain high. People in Virden, Man., are prepped to evacuate after fears a bridge collapse would trigger a surge of water.

The intense rains have caused travel chaos in the region. Numerous highways in Saskatchewan are closed or impassible due to washouts or water on the road, including parts of Highway 1. 

In Manitoba, it's the same story, with road closures mostly concentrated in the west of the province up to the Saskatchewan border, although the Trans-Canada Highway has now re-opened in the area.

In Winnipeg, the Red River Floodway is set to begin operations to divert some of the high waters around the city. The Manitoba government is reporting flooding and record water flows on 13 of the province's rivers.

This is all the aftermath of a rainy system that poured more than 100 mm of water onto the region from Friday to Monday, up to 200 mm in some places.

The worst, however, would seem to be over, at least in terms of rain set to fall.

"Showers will linger through the afternoon today before pushing east into the evening," Weather Network meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg said Tuesday.


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