Two years ago, if someone had asked if you wanted to purchase lake front property outside of Lampman, you likely would have had a good chuckle and sent the person on their way.
Two years later, that lakefront property is no longer a joke. It’s an unfortunate reality that’s continuing to cause headaches for numerous people in the area.
A byproduct of last year’s unprecedented flooding throughout southeast Saskatchewan, a lake of water remains just outside Lampman and has forced officials in the town and RM to remain on high alert.
Although opinions vary, it’s believed the water flowed to outside of Lampman through a dry waterway that begins around Griffin.
Unfortunately for many homeowners in the area west of Lampman, what has become known as Roy’s Lake has reportedly not decreased in size and there are concerns it won’t for quite awhile.
“The water has not gone down here,” said Greg Wallin, the administrator for the Town and RM of Browning. “It’s as high as it was last year. It may have dropped a little bit in the spring, but with the little bit of thaw there was, it’s as high here as it ever was.”
Wallin added that roads in the RM are also taking a beating due to the combination of water and high winds that have whipped through the southeast this spring.
“We built up the 605 north twice again this year from the wind. CN I know has trucks and loaders going, it was washing their track out.”
Last year’s flooding forced the town to enlist an army of volunteers who assisted with building dikes and filling sandbags to keep the water out of Lampman. Wallin said the focus this spring is to maintain the dike located on the town’s northwest edge. He added they also partnered with the provincial government on a dike and lift station that will help keep the water out of their storm sewer system. The cost of that project was $500,000.
“If the dike wasn’t there and (the water) started backing up through the storm sewer, there would be three feet of water in town,” he said. “The water out there is three feet higher than the lowest point in town. A lot of the town would be under water if that dike failed. There are some fail safes there, it’s not going to fail unless something very drastic happened. It’s got to get pretty high before it would ever come over, and if it does that, we’re all in trouble.”
As for the long term, Wallin said a solution will have to be decided upon by all the parties involved. He noted the water is flowing slowly from Roy’s Lake towards Alameda Dam through Moose Creek but not fast enough for their liking.
“The long term solution is the government would have to step up and build a government ditch,” he said. “They keep saying that you have to form a watershed association and we are in the process of doing that but it is held up in the government right now.
“Once (it is established) then we will sit down with the municipalities right from Fillmore to here to see what we can come up with and what we can deal with the government on. There are other options too as far as pumping it part way until it won’t run and having different lift stations along the way to get it to the dam.”