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Legislative Report
(13 April 2011)

Spring Flooding Assistance

It seems that spring has finally sprung across Saskatchewan. While we all welcome the return of warmer temperatures, the turn of the season also brings challenges. We received a record amount of snow last winter which is now beginning to melt, causing dugouts to fill up and creeks to overflow, flooding roads and fields. Our government began preparing for spring flooding by taking measures several months ago to minimize the potential damage to highways, roads and bridges across the province. Some of those measures include ordering extra equipment and supplies, such as water pumps, signage and barricades, stockpiling bridge replacement components, assembling emergency trailers throughout the province to respond to trouble spots and compiling a list of contractors and equipment in case we need extra help. On top of those precautions, we are currently clearing culverts, bridges and other drainage structures so they can handle this spring’s runoff. An aggressive surveillance program is also underway to flag trouble spots and provide immediate repairs where possible, as well as keeping the general public informed with the most up-to-date information through the Highway Hotline on the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure website.

Before you head out on Saskatchewan roads, we are urging motorists to view the interactive highway conditions map online or the hand-held devices version. Motorists may also wish to call the Highway Hotline toll-free number at 1-888-335-7623 or *ROAD on the SaskTel network.

Funding also continues to flow under the $22 million Emergency Flood Damage Reduction Program. Since the program was announced on February 22, there have been almost 600 requests for assistance through the program. Currently, engineering consultants are visiting communities to assist with initiatives such as constructing berms and diversions, clearing snow and ice from channels and culverts and sand bagging. Specific details about the Emergency Flood Damage Reduction Program are available at Saskatchewan Watershed Authority regional offices and on the Authority's website.

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