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Saskatchewan looking at above normal runoff

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Saskatchewan flood fighters updated their spring flooding forecast today calling for above normal runoff for most the province.

Ken Cheveldayoff, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA), said the new numbers are due to greater than normal amounts of precipitation in certain areas of the province.

"With the additional snowfall in March, the areas in the Souris River and Qu’Appelle River basins have been the most affected," Cheveldayoff said in a statement released this afternoon.

"To help prepare for the runoff, the Water Security Agency has been increasing the outflow of water from Rafferty and Alameda reservoirs as well as holding several meetings with municipalities to address their concerns and inform them of programs available."

Saskatchewan’s revised forecast will likely affect Manitoba’s as both the Souris River and the Qu’Appelle River flow into the province. Manitoba is expected to release a revised spring flooding forecast later this week.

Officials in Manitoba have already said, depending on the weather, the province could see a flood along the Red River on par with the flood of 2009, one of the worst on record. North Dakotans are also preparing for flooding on the Red and Souris Rivers.

The fear of major flooding in both provinces and North Dakota have grown each day as the spring melt is delayed by colder-than-normal weather. A thick snowpack still sits on the ground in most of the watershed and if combined with rainfall and a sudden surge in temperatures, runoff would increase.

"With the increased snow cover and late melt, I urge all people and communities to look at the forecast and prepare for flooding," Cheveldayoff said in the statement.

Saskatchewan’s full forecast is available here.

 

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