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Higher 2020 spring runoff possible in southern Saskatchewan: WSA

The Water Security Agency is advising the public to be aware of the potential for ice jamming on the North Saskatchewan River.
The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency said while conditions were wetter than normal at freeze-up, it doesn’t mean there will be flooding in the spring. File / Global News

The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) said the possibility of a higher spring runoff in southern parts of the province does not necessarily mean flooding is possible.

In its fall freeze-up report released Monday, the WSA said above-average precipitation during the fall has created favourable conditions of a higher than normal spring run-off.

READ MORE: Updated flood mapping coming to 20 ‘high-risk’ Sask. communities

The Souris River Basin, including the Antler River and Gainsborough Creek basins, “were particularly wet at freeze-up,” the WSA said.

Officials said while conditions were wetter than normal at freeze-up, “this initial assessment does not mean there will be flooding in southern Saskatchewan next year.”

They said the run-off outlook is dependent on actual conditions and snow accumulation over the winter.

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Current long-range forecasts indicate near-normal perception and above normal temperatures for the first three months of winter, WSA officials said.

Northern regions are entering winter with normal conditions due to below normal fall precipitation and a wet summer, the WSA said.

READ MORE: Winter storm slows harvest operations in Saskatchewan

There are some areas with drier than normal conditions, the WSA said: a small area around Kindersley, the area between Saskatoon and Prince Albert, and a small area northeast of Yorkton extending to the Manitoba border.

Officials said the freeze-up report is an essential tool to assist with its planning and to help communities to plan for next spring.

The WSA will issue its first spring runoff outlook in early February.

Zhoda, Man. residents still fighting flood waters, looking for answers from municipality
Zhoda, Man. residents still fighting flood waters, looking for answers from municipality