Saskatchewan farm areas may see above-average spring flooding

Saskatchewan could see above-average spring flooding across most of its farming areas, the provincial government said March 11.

Flooding occurs to some extent every spring as snow melts on the flat Canadian Prairies.

Soils in Saskatchewan were generally dry in autumn, prior to freezing weather, but the province saw between 150 per cent and 200 per cent of normal snowfall in many areas over winter, based on its water equivalent, said Ken Cheveldayoff, the minister responsible for the province’s Water Security Agency.

Cheveldayoff said the rate at which snow melts and the level of precipitation in coming weeks will determine the risk of spring flooding. Nearly all of Saskatchewan’s agriculture areas are likely to see above-normal to very high spring flooding, according to the province’s forecast.

Two large pockets around the provincial capital of Regina and the largest city of Saskatoon are at especially high risk.

Only minor to moderate flooding is likely for Manitoba, the provincial government said in its first official forecast last month. But that forecast was issued before heavy snow fell over most of the province in early March.

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