July 2, 2014 7:38 pm

Grandview Beach cottages falling into lake after massive rain

Watch the video above: Grandview Beach lakeside collapsing

GRANDVIEW BEACH, Sask. – SaskPower has cut the electricity to nine summer homes at Grandview Beach, Sask. as they are at risk of collapsing into Last Mountain Lake.

Community members believe the rain is to blame.

FULL COVERAGE: Prairie farmers, communities tackle flooding

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“We started noticing it about 10 days ago. We started noticing cracking in the soil,” said cottage owner Bryan Gourlie.

The cracks began to grow “and then with all the rain last weekend, it really exacerbated the situation.”

Late last week, the earth shifted dramatically. The front of Gourlie’s property and his deck have dropped several feet and dangled over the edge of a newly formed steep precipice. His cottage hasn’t moved, but the ground underneath has.

“Of course this is not insurable, as far as I know, so we’re kind of hoping that the province can step up. I know there are a lot of people in a bad situation right now,” said Gourlie.

Eight of his neighbours are in the same situation, worrying about cottages that have been in the family for decades.

“My parents bought this in 1972, so it’ll be about 42 years,” said Gourlie.

He blames the flooding in 2011, in part, for causing significant erosion to the front of these beachside properties. Now three years later, the cottages sit closer to the water and were more at risk of the destruction caused by this summer’s massive rainfall.

“At some point, we don’t know whether the cottages are going to slip and end up in the lake…to my knowledge, there’s nothing we can do to stop this,” said Grandview Beach mayor Bob Stobbs.

And now there’s another problem.

“We will be affected by the high water,” said cottage owner Cathy Luciuk, whose property isn’t currently affected by the landslide, but worries because it is situated closer to the lake.

The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) confirms the water will rise and be high all summer at Last Mountain Lake, but Luciuk wants more information from the province.

“We can’t speculate on what the water level will be since we don’t have any information from Saskatchewan association of rural municipalities (SARM), which I am really distressed about,” she said.

NEED TO KNOW: Important Saskatchewan flood contact numbers

The WSA estimates lake levels will rival but not surpass peak levels seen in 2011.

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