The rains are done, but the flooding remains in the Prairies
Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 1:22 PM -
[Thumbnail image credit: Chris Unrau/@27Sprint]
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Although the devastating rains that drenched the Prairies are over, they leave massive flooding in their wake.
States of emergency are in effect in more than 80 communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and more than 500 people have been forced from their homes, a number that is only expected to rise.
Among the evacuees are 150 hospital patients and long-term residents who had to be removed from a hospital in Melville, Sask., due to the flooding.
They were moved to a nearby rink as a precaution, as flood waters haven't yet entered the hospital. Emergency crews are building flood prevention measures around the facility.
When you look at the numbers, it's not surprising that waters remain high.
The days-long system dumped more than 100 mm on many communities, coming close to, and exceeding, 200 mm in a few isolated spots.
In Manitoba, the provincial government activated the Red River floodway on Tuesday to try stem the flow of water through and around the city, noting the river was still rising but had begun to decline in the United States.
The floods have caused major transportation provinces in the two provinces. Many roads and highways remain impassable due to washouts or water on the road in western Manitoba, but Highway 1 is open through to the Saskatchewan border.
In Saskatchewan, road closures remain widespread, with parts of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Regina still impassable, although some sections were announced to be open to truck traffic in the late morning Wednesday.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall told the Canadian Press that the sheer scope of the flooding may mean damage costs topping the $360 million total of the 2011 floods.
More seriously for the future, much of the flooded areas are cropland, although agriculture officials say it's too early to speculate on how large the crop loss might me.
The good news is, the next few days are expected to be warm and dry, with rising humidity in southern Manitoba also, making it feel up to 40 in some places.
With files from the Canadian Press
WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTING? You'd be surprised. Watch the video below.