There are many articles and stories describing the historic floods of Lumsden. The following information is a short summary from an article written by Pamela Cowan for the Leader Post issue April 13, 2002.
“Floods dramatically affected the town over the years including the one in 1904 – “the year of the great flood” – when the Qu’Appelle River burst its banks. Train service to the north was totally disrupted and almost all the houses and buildings on the flats were at least partially submerged. Horses and cows were taken to the hills and people lived in tents, supplied by the Dept. of Militia. During the floods they had to put floating wooden sidewalks down that they would wire together from one end of town to the other.”
“During the 1969 flood, the only way to get from one side of Lumsden to the other was by boat over the bridge.”
“The volume of water that came through in 1974 was double anything else that had ever been recorded, before or since. That year the dikes on the northern bank of the river broke and more than 500 flood workers feverishly constructed a secondary dike to hold back the rising spring runoff in late April. Three days into the battle, more than 75,000 cubic yards of earth and clay were packed into dikes using equipment volunteered for duty by private construction firms, individuals and government departments. About 75 dump trucks transported 1800 cubic yards an hour while 13 dual-engined earth movers averaged 1200 cubic yards and hour. In addition, 20 front end loaders, 12 bulldozers, 6 graders and numerous backhoes loaded and unloaded earth and clay.”
Since the last flood of 1974, dikes have been constructed surrounding the community. The dikes were built to withstand a 1:500 year flood or up to 450 cubic meters per second of water flow through the river channel. The Emergency Measures Organization is a group of experienced volunteers prepared to jump into action in the case of any type of emergency and will take charge, in coordination with Town Council and emergency services, in the event of an emergency. Dirt has been stockpiled, as well as sand and sandbags in case they may ever be needed. The Town of Lumsden monitors forecasts and water flow rates published by the Water Security Agency and keeps a close eye on our beautiful Qu’Appelle River.
Visit our Emergency Measures Organization page for more information about emergency preparedness.
2011 Flood Event Information:
1904 & 1974 Flood: