High water flows in northeastern Saskatchewan are forcing SaskPower to take preemptive emergency measures.

The electrical utility says much higher inflows than usual into its Nipawin and EB Campbell hydroelectric stations may force it to close the spillway gates on the EB Campbell and direct this water into the nearby Torch River.

Tyler Hopson, an official with SaskPower, says they should know a little later in the week just exactly how high the water inflow is going to be but the electrical utility already knows it is going to be much higher than usual.

“Normally at this time of year the river flows at approximately 600 metres cubed per second,” he says. “I don’t know exactly where it stands at the moment but we are projecting flood flows upward of as much as 4,000 metres cubed per second.”

The electrical utility is currently in the process of lowering a 200 to 400 metre section of the north dyke of the dam as a precaution.

The high water flows are being created by heavy rains and spring flooding from southern Alberta last week, which are now flowing into the north and south Saskatchewan rivers.

Hopson says SaskPower is working closely with the Saskatchewan Water Agency and local residents as part of its emergency contingency planning.