Flooding Continues, But Truckers Managing

REGINA — It might be early to breathe a sigh of relief, but it looks like truckers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have escaped the spring melt with only a handful of detours from flooding.

Initial predictions out of Manitoba were warning that this year’s melt could match 2009’s flood levels.

It wasn’t looking good for Saskatchewan, either. According to Al Rosseker, executive director of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) his province had “on average 255 percent increase in the snowpack this winter.

“So there’s just a pile of snow that’s got to melt and get out of here.”

Various regions in the two provinces are at different stages of flooding, with some rural and First Nations communities having to declare emergencies. Newstalk 980 CJME out of Regina reported that Kirsten Leatherdale with the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure said there were 21 highway segments under water, six of those being closures.

“We’re basically detouring where we have to,” Rosseker says, pointing to some recent flooding in North Battleford and Meadow Lake. “Of course where it creates any giant problems is if you’re running a turnpike double and you’re only allowed on various highways and all of sudden it’s detour time and you have to uncouple.”

Allan Penner, president of Penner International out of Steinbach, MB. runs a number of turnpike-doubles, but he said they’ve only experienced some minor delays and detours — “30 or 40 mile detours, but mostly it hasn’t been that bad.”

“We got a bit of a slower melt than most people were predicting and a lot of the lakes and rivers have crested already,” sums up Rosseker. “It hasn’t been as bad as everyone was predicting.”

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