Spring Runoff / Flood Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

See Also…

Public Works

 Water & Sewer Division

 Roads & Streets Division

Flood Preparedness/Spring Runoff Awareness

Saskatchewan has experienced a warmer and drier winter than normal. Generally most of the province is looking at a below normal snow pack for this time of year, but there are some areas in the east central region north of Yorkton up to Hudson Bay and west over to Nipawin where the snow pack is near normal.

Some areas in east central Saskatchewan had more water on the landscape than normal going into winter freeze up and should expect near normal runoff. There is also an area extending from Yorkton to Last Mountain Lake that may see above normal runoff based on the current conditions.

Spring Drainage - What is the City Doing?

Annual cleaning and inspection of City storm drains and catch-basins gets underway as soon as conditions allow.. 

City crews are working to ensure major drainage systems are operational in your neighborhood.  As snow melts the City will concentrate its effort in the following order:

  • Clearing of open drainage channels
  • Clearing of storm water detention area intakes
  • Ensuring culverts are open
  • Opening catch-basins (storm water collection areas)
  • Flushing storm piping
  • Pumping water from City owned vacant lots into the storm system
  • Providing pumping assistance to residential property owners at immediate risk of flooding.

How you can help out

  • Clear gutters and neighbourhood catch basins of leaves, garbage, other debris, or snow to help water drain and prevent flooding in your neighborhood.
  • Shovel or remove snow from around your home and move it so it snow melt will drain away from the foundation.
  • Clear channels in the ice/snow to allow melt water to drain away.
  • Ensure downspouts are extended so they discharge rain or meltwater at least two meters away from the foundation.
  • Check to make sure your sump pump is working. If you don’t have a sump pump, consider installing one. Contact a plumber for assistance if required.
  • Consider installing a mainline Sewer Backwater Valve to protect against sewer backup if you don’t have one.
  • Keep basement sewer caps in place.
  • Check your basement regularly for signs of water and consider installing a  water-sensing alarm.
  • If you pump your lot, please be considerate not to cause significant disruption to drainage on public streets.

Saskatchewan Water Security Agency

The runoff projections based on the most recent forecast. 

Preparing for a Flood

Cleaning up After a Flood

Yorkton Snow Removal  2015

Twenty per cent of the city's $630,000 snow removal budget for 2016 has been spent to date.  The remainder is allocated for the upcoming snow season this fall. 

Yorkton Snow Facts

     Snow removal and ice control is carried out on:

  • 170 lineal km of City streets
  • 15 lineal km of multi-lane highways
  • 80 km of boulevard sidewalk
  • 85 bus stops
  • 600 fire hydrants
  • 13 City parking lots
  • 10 km of back lanes

Ice Control

Yorkton has an annual budget of $100,000 for salting and sanding of streets and urban connectors (like York Road and Highway #9 within the City limits).  Our objective is to lower the use of road salt by implementing new ice and sand control guidelines for the next snow season.   

Drainage Improvements

In 2015, the annual operating budget for drainage improvements was $238,000.  $200,000 was spent out of the Capital Budget to twin the Henderson storm water line from Dracup Avenue to 5th Ave. North.  This project is to be completed in 2016.

$55,100 of the annual drainage budget was used to employ contractors with excavators capable of cleaning drainage ditches throughout and surrounding the City.  This dollar allotment allows for only a small portion of the City’s open ditch network to be cleaned on an annual basis. 

Approximately $40,000 is also used annually to clean catch-basins throughout the year.   This includes cleaning culverts and removing beaver dams and obstructions as required.   Pumping of problematic and recurring flood areas is also included under this amount.

$140,000 was used for critical tasks such as repairing collapsed storm mains, replacement of damaged catch-basins and flushing priority problem spots.   Almost all of these repairs occur following actual system failure and are primarily reactive maintenance measures.

In 2014, $2.08 M was spent on drainage improvements throughout the city, including the Dracup Avenue drainage channel from Darlington Street to north of York Road, a major bottleneck for drainage in the city.  Three large storm system upgrades in flood prone areas cost $41,400.  The drainage budget was increased from $198,500 in 2012 to $491,000 in 2014. 

Photos of Drain Cleaning Equipment and Typical Problems 

Storm Water Management  - System Improvements

2012-2013 Overview:

Construction 2014-15:

  • A large diameter storm pipe was installed from Darlinton retention pond to Dracup storm outflow at Dracup Avenue and York Road. 
  • Three large ditch cleaning projects were undertaken in 2014-2015, removing sedimentation and widening storm channels throughout the city. 

Storm Sewer Facts

  • The storm network is 53km in length.
  • Sections of the storm sewer system are being inspected each year to determine their condition, based on budget allocations.  This is a long, labour intensive program, and approximately 35 per cent has been inspected since the program was initiated in 2012.  
  • In 2011 and 2012, video inspection revealed pipes in problem areas were full of sedimentation and tree roots.
  • There are at least 8 kilometers of known problem spots that exhibit reoccurring flooding.  These areas have been or are being examined and ongoing improvements continue to be made. 
  • The estimated cost to clean storm sewers is $30/meter.  Therefore, $1.6M (2012 dollars) is required to clean and inspect the entire drainage network.  This estimate is probably low as debris present in pipes will dictate the cost to clean.
  • In 2012, 60 catch-basins were identified as “failures” and are a hazard as they have collapsed or have sink holes beside them.   Council approved $180,000 to fix these problem areas by 2016. 
  • Catch basin repair is an ongoing annual procedure. 

Sask Power

Sask Power has tips on what to do before, during and after a flood to protect your family and property

Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association

General Watershed Information - lake and stream levels on various points that have automatic gauges


Some SGI Links on what to do to prevent some common water problems

How to make an Insurance Claim

Contact your insurance broker directly to file your claim.

Flooding Equipment Suppliers