PHOTOS: Riverside Drive residents not concerned with flood warning

By Sarah Stone
June 27, 2013 - 2:23pm

Despite some flooding warnings issued by the City of Prince Albert on Wednesday, many residents along Riverside Drive seem unconcerned.

Homes along the south side of street back onto the North Saskatchewan River, which means if the water jumps dramatically, those residents could be affected.

However, long-time resident Christine Samoila said she received her flood warning advisory and is not worried.

“I must say I haven’t done anything yet because I’m just not anticipating it to come up, but I’ll keep my on it today,” she said, adding she hasn’t packed an emergency bag or removed any articles from her basement.

“If it was fire it would be different because that would come up so much faster, but with the water we can see if it’s coming up.”

Samoila moved to her residence along the river in 1968 and said the worst flooding she saw was back in 1968, “that’s when it came up high.”

However, even then Samoila explained it only made it up the banks and partly into her backyard. She sat in her swinging bench in her yard on Thursday as she described the event that happened more than 20 years ago, pointing where the water rose.

At that time water seeped so far into the ground it collapsed the sewer system that underneath, but since then the system has been located and Samoila has no worries, except for one.

“It’s good to have warnings. The only thing I think we could have done was sandbank the little road that goes down to the river there just a couple houses down … so it didn’t come up that way, but otherwise I think we’re pretty safe,” she said.

“Because our houses are so up high, it’s not like we’re down at the bottom of the valley,” she said.

“It would have to come up, way up, to get to the house.”

Vera Smith has been residing in the Riverside Drive area even longer than Samoila, moving in the 1930s with her family.

Smith now lives just a few houses down and remembers the flooding in 1986.

“It came up to the garden here and flooded my cabbages out,” Smith said with a chuckle.

She too hasn’t prepared for any flooding from the river.

“I looked out and said it isn’t very high yet,” Smith said unconcerned.

“It’s got a couple of levels yet here to come before it gets
up to the house at all.”

If the water to does rise and the city’s worst case scenario becomes a reality, Smith has options.

“I’ll just go. We have a cabin at Emma Lake and I’ll just get in the car and go to the lake. Everything is there that I would need other than maybe a little grocery, which we could buy on the road.”

Rising water timeline gets pushed back

Although the river may not look too high as of Thursday when the peak was originally forecasted to hit, Patrick Boyle with the Water Security Agency said this is because the timeline has been pushed back.

Thursday afternoon, Boyle said after monitoring the water passing through North Battleford, he anticipates the new peak level to pass Prince Albert on Saturday.

“We’re expecting a peak to move through Saturday now at roughly 3,000 cubic metres per second,” he said.
From there is will take a few days for water levels to subside.

“It’s going to start to gradually decline the next day on the 30th, but’s going to be a long slow rise and a similar fall, so it’ll take another couple of days for that to also go down on the back end.”

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