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Sunday, 10 April 2011 17:23

High Swift Current Creek flows forecast

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The City of Swift Current received notice from the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, indicating that they will be undertaking a series of increases to the water volumes being released from the Duncairn Dam Reservoir beginning today.



These releases are necessary to accommodate strong runoff inflows into the Duncairn Reservoir.

"The amount of water from surface runoff flowing into the Duncairn Dam Reservoir has increased with the recent warmer temperatures causing water levels in the Duncairn Reservoir to rise," said Clinton Molde, regional manager for the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority.

"It is necessary to increase the release volumes to maintain safe levels at the Reservoir.  As a result, the volume of water being released from the Duncairn Dam will be increased to 1000 cubic feet per second  today with additional increases carried out as necessary.”

For the past 10 weeks the City of Swift Current and appropriate agencies, including the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority have been meeting on a weekly basis to acquire information and develop action plans should the spring runoff result in flooding in areas throughout the city.   During this same period, planned increases in release flows from Duncairn have been successful in clearing the creek channel of snow and ice, that could have potentially caused blockages during the upcoming peak flows in the Swift Current Creek.

"This past weekend total volume of water flowing in the Swift Current Creek through the Swift Current peaked at approximately 2,000 cfs late Saturday night," said Mac Forster, director of engineering.

"However, the planned 500 cubic feet per second increase in the release at Duncairn coupled with anticipated high inflow volumes between the City of Swift Current and Duncairn due to the amount of snow remaining in the drainage area and the relatively higher temperatures will result in high flows and high creek levels within the City."

The City Flood Planning Team is currently meeting to assess the situation and take appropriate action.  Emergency preparedness will continue with various agencies such as the RCMP, Swift Current Ambulance, Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, and all city departments.

“We are accessing additional  flood resource equipment through the province’s Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and policing to assist with high creek levels, if required, however, the City reminds those residents in flood prone areas that sandbags and sand are available free of charge at the Service Center, located at 2074 South Service Road West and we encourage those city residents to take proactive measures relating to protecting their individual properties from potential flooding,” said Forster.

There are many variables that come into play when trying to model and determine the extent of any potential flooding, but through continued communication, the City of Swift Current is planning for a variety of scenarios.

Federal government literature on flood preparation is also available at city hall should residents wish to acquire further information.

City activates emergency operations centre

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The City of Swift Current Flood Planning Team met early this morning and have activated the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

This decision was made because a series of triggers were met, resulting in a potential threat of damage to property and infrastructure. 

The EOC is comprised of key city and other agency individuals who direct and control the response to the event. They are responsible for providing essential services to the community and the allocation of resources to support both the event and the community response.

The City reminds those residents in flood prone areas that sandbags and sand are available free of charge at the Service Centre located at 2074 South Service Road West.  As with any potential extreme conditions, the main focus is on the safety and well being of the residents of Swift Current.  

During this release, there will be faster flowing water and residents are reminded to stay safe and keep children away from the creek. The spring run-off is causing the creek to rise quickly producing a swift moving current.  This is often enticing to children and it is advised that these areas be avoided. 

For the past 10 weeks the City of Swift Current and appropriate agencies, including the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority have been meeting on a weekly basis to acquire information and develop action plans. The City Flood Planning Team is currently applying these actions plans and mitigative measures in the flood plain in an attempt to minimize risk. The Flood  Planning Team is accessing both city-owned and provincial equipment and resources, provided by the Department of Corrections, Public Safety, and Policing.


Saskatchewan Watershed Authority and Agri-Environment Services Branch will continue to monitor inflows and water levels in Duncairn Reservoir.

The City of Swift Current urges parents to inform their children and cautions the public to maintain a safe distance from the creek banks until the runoff has subsided and water levels return to normal.

Residents are reminded to stay away from the fast moving water and to take necessary preparations to protect themselves and their property.

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