Residents within the communities of Gravelbourg, Assiniboia, and Mossbank should prepare themselves for a massive spring rainstorm.
Environment Canada issued a Rainfall Warning for those areas on Thursday afternoon, as a Colorado Low is expected to sweep through, bringing with it a possible 40 to 60 millimetres of rain.
Meteorologist Natalie Hasell says that any shift in the weather system could bring that heavy rain to Moose Jaw.
“It’s possible if the area shifts a little further west you could see up to 20 mm. You remain on the edge with a chance of showers tonight and tomorrow during the day and then things clearing later in the day.”
As of Friday morning, Moose Jaw is only expected to see a possible five millimetres of rain.
The storm is expected to stick around the region for the duration of Friday and then will begin to taper off on Saturday with the storm moving more eastward.
With a large amount of rain expected to fall, there is the risk of localized flooding with the possibility of washouts near rivers, creeks, and culverts.
Hasell says that people in those communities should prepare for the possibility of flooding if they haven’t already.
“Make sure that your sump pump and your backwater valve are working. Ideally, people are grading their properties so water flows away from their house,” adds Hasell.
“Having an emergency kit will make things easier with respect to having all your documents in one place – on paper and not just digital. Having enough food, water, medication, and any other emergency supplies that you might need so you can deal with this if it does become an emergency,” continues Hasell.
The increase in water could cause the washout of rural highways or roadways. Hasell recommends having a plan in place.
“Understand that you might need a plan b – a different way to get home if a road gets washed out or if it looks like there may be sinkholes, and you can’t always tell. Do not drive through washed-out roads. Remember it doesn't take a lot of moving water to knock someone over or pick up a car. Don’t put yourself in that position if you can avoid it.”
In addition, Hasell says to avoid drainage-like implements like culverts, and ditches.
She also urges people to keep track of their children when around washed-out roads, ditches, culverts, and fast-moving water.
“If they’re young enough, they have probably spent most of their lives jumping into a puddle. They might not realize that this isn’t just a puddle and could be a potential hazard. Pay attention to what they’re doing and pay attention to where they’re headed if they walk off somewhere.”
With this severe weather, Hasell concludes by reminding residents to keep an eye on the sky for lighting and check their local forecast for the current weather conditions before making their way out onto area highways.