Post-Flood Recovery Plagues Saskatchewan Campground
The tally continues to climb, with hundreds of insurance and provincial disaster assistance claims and millions of dollars in damage from a record flood that struck Saskatchewan, CKOM Radio, Saskatoon, reported.
Saturday (June 18) marks the one year anniversary of the biggest flood in Maple Creek's history. On June 18 of last year, more than three inches of rain fell in 36 hours, triggering a massive disaster that left many people homeless.
Pernell and Rebne Lehr, owners of Eagle Valley Campground, say the roar of the water was surreal. It was coming right at their campground — and home next to the main office — just west of Maple Creek. The water was coming right through a semi-new spillway built by the government.
"They built this structure in 2008 and didn't change the drainage on the (Trans-Canada) highway. I don't know whose call that was, but it just flooded us out. That's what happened," Pernell said.
It's also what contributed to the destruction of some lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway. The water in Eagle Valley Campground was more than 39 feet deep.
It drained quickly, but the damage remains — replacing the electric lines alone will cost $500,000.
But, that's not stopping them from being optimistic.
"We're going to go ahead and do what we can with what we've got," he said.
For the Lehrs to rebuild, about a $250,000 will have to come out of their own pocket, which is difficult when half their sites are closed. Pernell estimates they're losing about $150,000 a year until they can reopen the lower valley campsites.
"It's a financial struggle to keep up and running until we can rebuild. It basically took half of everything," he said.
The Lehrs did receive money from the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program, along with 599 people who also made claims. So far the province had paid out almost $6 million in total. Much of that for things not covered under home insurance.
But some people did get coverage through their insurance provider — 360 claims have been received by SGI, most of them sewer backups. That's cost the company about $5 million. But SGI is just one of a number of companies receiving claims from its clients.
There were some vehicle casualties too, 70 of them. That cost SGI about $500,000.