A rapid downpour Tuesday afternoon left Saskatoon’s storm sewer system struggling, the city says.

“This is the second time in less than a month that we have been hit with a system so intense that our storm sewer system simply can’t keep up — the systems in older neighbourhoods are not designed to take on so much water within a very short period of time,” Galen Heinrichs, the city’s water and sewer engineering manager, said in a news release.

Saskatoon’s southeast was hit hardest by the heavy rain, with some areas seeing 50 millimetres, according to Environment Canada.

Several intersections on the east side flooded, prompting response from both Saskatoon police and the Saskatoon Fire Department. Some vehicles were left stranded in water above their bumpers at the flooded intersections, and some areas of the city saw such heavy rain that city garbage bins began floating down alleys.

“City crews were kept busy closing roads where water wasn’t receding, clearing grates, ensuring manhole covers were in place and cleaning up debris,” a city news release stated.

Trees were downed, several homes’ basements flooded and bus routes were affected because of the storm. Outdoor swimming pools, the city landfill and compost depot, and PotashCorp Playland at Kinsmen Park also shut down.

Heinrichs said the city’s public works department received 40 calls during the storm regarding blocked catch basins or popped manhole covers.