Two days after one the biggest and most severe storms of the year, Canadian farmers across the Prairies have been rewarded by what they believed was good weather for a period of time – and then Friday morning it changed.
The storms brought flooding in the areas, causing hundreds of farm losses and prompting officials to declare a state of emergency in Saskatchewan, the country’s fourth-most populous province, according to CBC News.
With heavy rain falling during the day, the floodwaters approached 14 rivers, including the Elsipogtog river in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, the Canadian Red Cross announced on Wednesday.
“We may get a bit of relief today, and tomorrow we may start getting more water, but it’s certainly not going to stop there,” Susan Michaud, a spokesperson for the Flood Prevention Task Force, told CBC.
Farmers in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta are realizing the flood risk of what is now a big lake. One stretch of the Elsipogtog, one of three major waterways that control the Calgary-area Floodway that normally keep floods at bay, is nearly a hundred feet high.
In rural Calgary, Alberta, 15 to 20 cows lost their farm and eggs were on fire, the National Post reported. In Saskatchewan, 60 small cattle dealers lost 1,400 head of cattle.
Other local reports said roads have been washed out and a trail caused by swollen lakes and rivers damaged.
As darkness fell, emergency workers warned people to stay out of area lakes and streams, citing potential power outages, slides and the difficulty of navigating them.
“All areas, we want people to remember, are flood risks right now,” Kelly said. “And we’re asking people just to be more aware of that.”