Heavy rainfall across Saskatoon on Monday resulted in flooded streets and underpasses around the city.
“What occurred earlier today, it looks like it was an extremely local event,” Environment Canada meteorologist Danielle Desjardins said late Monday afternoon.
“We were seeing some of the stations report 50 to 70 millimetres that we saw in the south end of the city whereas at the airport, they got about one millimetre. It looks like there was a really big difference between the north and the south end of the city.”
The weather forecast for early afternoon in Saskatoon suggested it was going to be mainly cloudy — and it proved to be much worse than that.
“If the report said cloudy, that likely was occurring at our station at the airport, which did not receive a lot of rain,” Desjardins said. “That was likely what was occurring where the heaviest precipitation was occurring south of the station.
“As far as I know, there were no glitches on the part of Environment and Climate Change Canada. It was just a product of just how local this flooding and this extreme rainfall was.”
Flooding is being reported at underpasses throughout the city. Please be extra careful out there. Currently Taylor and Lorne Ave underpass locations are impassible. pic.twitter.com/7jwTNrS3yi
— SPS Traffic Unit (@SPSTraffic) June 20, 2022
The Saskatoon Police Service said Lorne Avenue and Exhibition Road, northbound lanes on Circle Drive near the Taylor Street overpass, the overpass at Circle Drive and Idylwyld, and locations near Louise Street and Preston Drive were deluged.
Police were asking residents to steer clear of the areas and to use caution in areas that were experiencing flooding.
Angela Gardiner, the City of Saskatoon’s general manager of utilities and environment, said Circle Drive between College and Taylor Street as well as Preston Avenue South and McEown Avenue were problem areas.
“Barricades are in place at some of these intersections but we do ask that you avoid areas altogether if at all possible. Please stay out of the water with your car or if you are on foot and be mindful of your commute home,” Gardiner said.
The city has fire services, water and sewer crews and Saskatoon Police Service support in responding to emergency calls, with crews working throughout the evening and overnight if needed.
Any emergencies should be reported to the City of Saskatoon customer service centre at 306-975-2476.
“We are aware that there may be some flooding to private property so to reduce the risk of damage to property, residents should ensure that downspouts disperse water at least two metres or six feet away from your home’s foundation,” Gardiner said.
Transit routes may be affected by the rainfall as well.
The Saskatoon Fieldhouse, track courts and Lions Arena were closed due to flooding. The Lawson Civic Centre was to close early.
One man at the corner of Eighth and McKercher said the water was up past the tires on his car.
“It’s really bad weather right now,” he said. “The police should do something for us, like stop the traffic or do anything to make sure there aren’t cars in the water.”
He said the water got into his car — so much so that his shoes were floating.
“Inside my car is literally water,” he said. “If you walk in there and open the doors, it’s all water.”
Clarence Neufeld was near Eighth and Taylor and said the road was flooded, with cars stalled in the water that had pooled.
“Northbound traffic, there has been a few semis get through, but a lot of the traffic now is taking the ramp up to Taylor Street instead of trying to go under the overpass,” Neufeld said.
Christine Thille was trying to get to Stonebridge after getting word her kids’ school — Chief Whitecap School — was closing early due to some flooding concerns.
“I made my way towards Stonebridge and when I got there, there were cars lined up at all the intersections because they were all flooded,” she said. “Cars had been trying to go through the intersections and then were stalling out because water was getting into their cars.”
Thille said she had to park two blocks away and walk through water that was above her knees to get to the school.
“There’s police in the area now that are directing cars away from intersections that are particularly bad, but there’s still a lot of abandoned cars that are just stalled out and unfortunately, they’re going to be a little waterlogged,” she said.
That may apply to cars in the underground parking garage of an apartment building across from the school as well. Thille said there appeared to be three or four feet of water in the garage.