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City report concludes no action will be taken to warn drivers about flooding during rain storms

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A report written and reviewed by Saskatoon Water and the Transportation Department for the city found that no further actions will be made for creating a warning system for drivers when flooding on roads, caused by heavy rain storms.

According to the report, on June 20, 2022, the city saw upwards of 75 millimeters of rain in some areas of the city within one hour. The heavy rain caused many cars to become stuck in underpasses and classes were even canceled at Chief Whitecap School, leaving parents to pick up their children in knee-deep water.

“We wanted to make sure our infrastructure was functioning as efficiently as possible, if not, to make a plan to fix those efficiencies,” said stormwater utility manager Mitch McMann.

In response to the rain storm, inspections were completed on over 10 kilometers of the storm sewer infrastructure system. It found pipes had anywhere from five to 50 per cent of debris inside.

“Debris from the streets gets into those curb and gutters will sometimes become lodged or within those pipes so it’s a known issue,” McMann said.

Some of the research options listed in the report were based on a city council request from June 27, 2022. They include considering three different system options for drivers to be aware in certain areas, including stand alone detection, a traffic camera and an integrated system.

To install these systems at the intersection of Circle Drive under Taylor Street East would cost anywhere from $9,000 for the traffic camera alone, to $43,000 for the stand alone detection and warning system.

In reference to the transportation signaling review, the report concluded no further action will be taken.

“An optional budget request could be provided for consideration during the 2024-2025 multi-year budget process for the installation of integrated warning and detection systems at 10 locations,” the report concluded.

During the flooding, the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD) attended five locations to help drivers out of their stalled vehicles.

SFD also attended three calls for downed power lines and three property flooding concerns.

“Saskatoon EMO always encourages motorists to be prepared for extreme weather and drive to the current conditions based on their own safety and risk assessment,” acting fire chief Anthony Tataryn told CTV News by email. 

Correction

This story previous stated the report called on the City to create a warning system for flooding.

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