A cautionary tale was seen this week, underwater at the side of a flooded stretch of Highway 2.
© Photo submitted by Jeanne Wichihin
The top of a red car is seen peeking out of floodwater that continues to close a stretch of Highway 2, about 11 kilometres north of Prince Albert.
Taking a photograph of the scene for Facebook, Jeanne Wichihin captured the top few inches of a red car, the rest of it underwater in the ditch along Highway 2.
Although that stretch of highway has been closed to light vehicle traffic for more than a month, some vehicles have ignored the signs and soldiered on.
“The one thing people need to understand is, anyone who travels into an area where the road is closed are doing so at their own risk,” Highways and Infrastructure representative Doug Wakabayashi said.
“Especially with flooding, there can be situations where any significant safety risks, where water’s going over the road, are usually not visible.”
Situations such as the red car Wichihin captured with a photograph tend to pop up once road closures have been going on for a long period of time, Wakabayashi said.
“There’s always people who either ignore barricades or ignore signs,” he said.
Another concern that’s been noted in the area has been along the detour route, he noted.
The posted detour is along the Pulp Haul cut across road, which adds an estimated 20 minutes of driving time to get north of the flood area.
A number of people have been taking alternative detours, which although in some cases might be shorter, have been wearing out roads that aren’t built for the heavy traffic they’re now facing.
The one thing people need to understand is, anyone who travels into an area where the road is closed are doing so at their own risk Highways and Infrastructure representative Doug Wakabayashi
“That causes issues, especially for rural municipalities,” he said. “It’s a challenge for municipal governments to respond to flooding situations, while at the same time maintaining their own roads.”
Premier Brad Wall toured the flooded section of Highway 2 on Aug. 11 along with Saskatchewan Rivers MLA Nadine Wilson and RM of Buckland elected officials.
Calling the visit successful, Reeve Don Fyrk appeared optimistic later that day that the problem would be resolved soon.
A temporary drainage solution is currently in place, with Highway 2 floodwater meandering its way into Little Red River.
A more permanent registered ditch is being built to mitigate future year’s flood risks -- a win-win situation, Fyrk said, noting that farmers will be able to apply for permits to drain into the ditch.
As of press time on Friday, Highway 2 remained closed about 11 kilometres north of Prince Albert, with the Pulp Haul access road detour remaining in place.