July 16, 2014 7:54 pm

Flood cleanup underway at Crooked Lake as homes torn from foundations

CROOKED LAKE, Sask.–There is some promising news regarding the flood situation in Saskatchewan.

According to the Water Security Agency (WSA), all flooded areas across the province are now receding.

However, the clean up for many property owners is far from over.

One of the hardest hit areas at Crooked Lake is at Sunset Beach. Not only did the water completely surround the homes, but a summer storm on July 5 managed to move a handful off houses of their foundations.

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“Two storey homes getting lifted and thrown onto the street… It’s crazy,” said Kim Lemieux, a seasonal resident at Sunset Beach. Her home didn’t move but was severely damaged by water.

Property owners in the area have some tough decisions to make as to whether they want to risk another flood.

“We survived the 2011 flood with an inch (of water) in my grandma’s cabin and, then we decided that we would maybe like to retire down here. So, we moved an old farmhouse in and we did that a couple of years ago,” said Lemieux. “Now we’re really wondering if we should still be here or if this is going to happen constantly.”

“I’m a little leery about living here ‘cause if this is a continuous thing, you can’t carry on restructuring stuff and hauling stuff out. It just ain’t worth it,” said Lester Gall. He and his wife Trudy live year-round at the lake.

The provincial disaster assistance program (PDAP) doesn’t typically cover damage to seasonal homes, which some people say is unfair.

“A lot of them have just as much money or more involved in their homes here for retirement and they work hard at the cleanup,” said Gall. “They work as hard as anybody else.”

The province says it has received 968 claims under PDAP and nearly 50 emergency advance payments of $3,000 each have already been doled out.

Residents are now in cleanup mode, trying to air out their homes and get rid of damaged belongings, but the concern at Crooked Lake is where to move the trash.

“Our biggest concern is getting it up to the dump. Getting it out of here. It’s an eye sore. It’s stinky,” said Lemieux. “Since we’re seasonal people, we are charged every time we take a load up there and we have to sort it.”

The water level at Crooked Lake peaked around July 4 and since then, it’s receded by more than a metre.

However, the WSA says it’s still about a metre and a half above normal.

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