The floodwaters in the Border City are receding, and have left flooded basements and damaged cars in their wake.
The waters were brought on by intense rain, which had begun to fall around 1:30 a.m., according to data from the Lloydminster Municipal Airport. As the storm progressed, posts on social media began to be made which indicated some residents were suffering from flooding in their homes, as well as at least two motorists who had to abandon their vehicles to the water.
Six areas were confirmed to have been impacted by the flooding, with Hill Industrial, Nielsen Industrial 62 Avenue, 49 Street, 51 Street, and 52 Street all suffering various levels of water damage. City crews had been on scene dealing with the water starting at 4:30 a.m.
Alan Cayford, the Director of Public Works for the City of Lloydminster, spoke to the press about what had happened in the early afternoon. According to Cayford, municipal infrastructure is undamaged in the wake of the storm, and the municipal drainage system worked as it is intended to.
“The system performed the way it’s supposed to perform,” said Cayford.
“We had one lake (R.H Brekko Lake) spill out onto the street, and when you get a large rain event, that can happen. This certainly gives a chance to analyze what we have in the system, and see if there are any improvements that we need to make over the next two or three weeks, once things dry up.”
Cayford said the intent of the city drainage system is to catch storm water, and make it go slowly. He also said he has not spoken directly to anyone impacted by water damage in their home.
“I do know that there have been some calls, and I believe that people have been told to contact their insurance companies,” said Cayford.
“The City, when there is blocked sanitaries, if it’s a blockage issue the City is out there with the trucks, we do as much as we can do with the equipment that we have. We don’t do disaster recovery per say, we do what we do in public works and we try to advise people to contact their insurance companies.”
Cayford said the amount of rainfall varied throughout the Border City, with some areas reporting one and a half inches of rain, and others reporting five inches. In his view, it was an intense and tight-webbed system which resulted in the high amount of rain.
“The system is designed to handle a big storm,” said Cayford.
“I don’t honestly know what this one would be classified as. In storm water terms, they typically talk about a 1 in 100 year storm, they design the systems to handle the 1 in 100 year. Where this one ranks, I’m not sure.”
Cayford indicated that a review will be taking place in the next few weeks on the actions taken by the Public Works department during the storm, and also said he was not anticipating a large amount of cleanup work for City infrastructure.
“I would say by the time it’s stopped raining and the water recedes, that we’ll probably be pretty much be done,” said Cayford.
Anne Danielson, the Coordinator of Emergency Management for the City of Lloydminster, also spoke to the press, and said city residents could apply for disaster recovery funds from both Alberta and Saskatchewan. However, the municipal government would have to apply first.
“In order to do that, we need to know what damages there are in the community,” said Danielson.
“We encourage people who have damaged homes or items that aren’t under insurance or couldn’t have potentially covered by insurance, to go to our City website and report that.”
Danielson asked for Lloydminster citizens with uninsured, water damaged items to send in reports to her department, which can be found in the Community Services section of the municipal website.
“We can gather that information, compile it, and if there is significant information that people do have damaged homes, things like that, then we will make an application to the applicable province for disaster recovery,” said Danielson.
Danielson also said there was no guarantee of funding being approved, and urged city residents to keep accurate records of flood damages.
Rain remains in the forecast for Tuesday, with a 40 per cent chance of showers in the afternoon.