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Rapidly increasing flows expected on South and North Saskatchewan rivers, according to WSA

Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency said it’s starting a spillway release at Gardiner Dam on Thursday, bringing total outflows to about 520 cubic metres per second.
Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency said it’s starting a spillway release at Gardiner Dam on Thursday, bringing total outflows to about 520 cubic metres per second. File / Global News

Rapidly rising levels are expected on two Saskatchewan rivers due to earlier rainfall in Alberta, according to the Water Security Agency (WSA).

The agency issued an advisory on Thursday for the South Saskatchewan River.

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A peak inflow of about 1,300 cubic metres per second (m3/s) is expected at Lake Diefenbaker on Sunday, according to a press release. Water levels upstream of Lake Diefenbaker are expected to rise by 0.75 metres, on average, from Thursday’s levels.

WSA said it starting a spillway release at Gardiner Dam on Thursday. The agency anticipates having to increase the release again on July 6 for a total outflow of 900 m3/s, depending on how the inflows recede.

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A flow of 900 m3/s will be near channel capacity upstream of Saskatoon in the Pike and Moon lake areas, according to the press release.

No overland flooding is expected, according to WSA.

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WSA also advised that stream flows are above normal along the North Saskatchewan River, with peak flows expected to be near 1,500 m3/s.

The peak is expected to reach the Alberta/Saskatchewan border around Sunday, the Battlefords around July 7 and in Prince Albert on July 10, the agency said.

People living along these areas are advised that high flows pose a safety risk and could damage property and infrastructure over the coming days.

WSA said it will be assessing water levels beyond the Saskatchewan River Forks, which is where the two rivers meet.

Prince Albert police warning people to stay away from the North Saskatchewan River
Prince Albert police warning people to stay away from the North Saskatchewan River