Heavy rains have pushed two First Nations to the breaking point.
Evacuations are set to take place this morning on the James Smith First Nation while the Beardy’s Okemasis reserve was forced to close down four roads and is struggling to get children to school.
Everett Gamble is the director of public works at Beardy’s, he says 18 homes are on a boil-water order while meals-on-wheels delivery is at a standstill.
He says the band is doing its best but vehicles are breaking down due to the muddy conditions and it’s taking a toll on their ability to provide services:
“Our resources to try and accommodate and to deal with this, the issues caused by the flooding, are really overwhelming our resources. I don’t know how to say it, it’s like our resources are at a breaking point and it’s already past that point.”
He adds one sewage truck is broken while the other one needs a pull-start.
Water has begun to seep into some basements as well.
Some motorists need to take a giant U-turn to get to the school and band office.
They drive north to Rosthern and then double-back on highway #2.
Gamble says these are long-term problems and they need some government assistance soon.
Meantime around 40 to 50 people are scheduled to leave the James Smith Reserve after their homes were cut off due to flooded roads.
Band official Mike Marion says the decision was made to send the residents to either Melfort or Prince Albert.
He says heavy rain has flooded out the roads leading to their homes and the people are cut off from the rest of the reserve:
“We can’t get our services in there and we’re also concerned about some of the people with health problems.”
He says an ambulance wouldn’t be able to get to them if needed which is why they have to leave.
Marion says Social Services and the Red Cross are helping coordinate the evacuation.