It’s been a record breaking weather week in southern Saskatchewan and while the recent winter warm up is welcome relief to residents, it also comes with a reminder to protect your property.
All the snow we saw at the beginning of February is melting and residents are encouraged to take extra steps to avoid flooding.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) recommends homeowners clear their downspouts of any debris or ice and shovel snow to a place where it drains away from their property.
Tyler McMurchy with SGI cautions that flood damage isn’t always covered by insurance so residents should be vigilant in checking their sump pumps and checking their basements to ensure water isn’t seeping in.
“If they don’t, they really risk the water getting into their basement and doing substantial amount of damage and clearly that’s something that happens quite a bit. Last year of all SGI claims, 60 per cent of them were water related.”
Residents are also encouraged to call the city if they’re unable to clear catch basins and find that water is starting to pool in the street.
City crews are out in full force using steamers to clear away ice and debris.
The city’s sewer and drainage operations manager, Helene Henning-Hill says crews are using steamers to clear catch basins and adds it’s fairly unusual work for this time of year.
“Those crews would be out doing other work so it’s not typical in February. When we’re out doing this work it’s usually March, April or when it’s spring. So, we’ve had to take crews away from other work they’d normally be doing to do this operation.”
The extended warm weather is also impacting the city’s 60 ice rinks. City staff flood the rinks in the morning but come afternoon they begin to melt.
The city’s parks and open space director, Ray Morgan, says all rinks are open but monitored on a daily basis.
“Conditions later on in the day are going to be soft and spongy and we just ask the users be cautious of the conditions and be aware. Better ice conditions are better in the morning when ice surface is hard and freshly flooded.”
You can head to the city’s website to check the status of any outdoor rinks.