Most of Saskatchewan saw heavy rain throughout this past weekend, however, nobody was hit as hard as Lampman, Sask. after residents experienced flooding and saw close to an estimated 180 millimetres of rain.
On June 4, the Town of Lampman confirmed that water draining is complete and residents are no longer experiencing flooding.
Greg Wallin, administrator for the town of Lampman and RM of Browning said the only street to remain underwater is Forest Avenue.
“We still have pumps running pumping water out of town now because the storm sewers are full. It’s emptying out, but, I mean, with that much rain, you can’t expect the storm sewers to take everything,” said Wallin.
The town confirmed that although nobody was forced to evacuate their homes, some residents said water in the street was close to waist-deep while others experienced flooding in their basements.
Since the flooding began, the town had many people out laying pipe, setting up pumps and emptying out basements, according to Wallin.
“A large percentage of houses had water in them. I know of two or three that are substantial damage. They’re ripping out walls and everything. Furniture is in the garbage bin. Everything,” he added.
Lampman experienced similar flooding in 2011 and again in 2016.
“2011 we flooded. 2016 we flooded, but not to this degree. Not that much rain, that fast. 2011 was the flood year but it came over a two month period, where this came in a few hours,” said Wallin.
Although residents were quick to volunteer to help with the cleanup, Wallin said this one event could cost them maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“I don’t even want to guess how many tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars this is going to cost us. It’s a very huge cost when you start estimating that you know, our tax levy is $600,000 a year, and one event – one weekend, I don’t even know what it cost us but it could be a big percentage of that tax revenue in one year we spent in one weekend.”
On top of that, Wallin is concerned about the infrastructure damage that will be caused by the water sitting on the streets.
“We’ve had people, employees, that didn’t go to bed for 36-40 hours. Just the wages we’ve paid out to people, and the fuel – right now, we haven’t even seen any of those bills because you know, in a small community, we had someone going around fueling all the tractors, fueling all the pumps – that was their job, was to go make sure all the pumps and tractors and equipment that was running had fuel in it. I don’t have a clue how many gallons of fuel we went through,” said Wallin.
When asked how the town is expected to recover from such a big hit, Wallin is calling for help from the provincial government.
Now, the focus falls on the cleanup and how the town can be prepared for the next rainfall.
“The town of Lampman is flat. We’re like a tabletop, and everything has to flood before it eventually seeps away, and it seeps away very slowly. We don’t have any drainage anywhere. We’re just in a very unfortunate situation,” said Wallin.