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Heavy rainfall expected Sunday for Cumberland House

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Heavy rain is forecast for the Cumberland House area on Sunday — unwelcome news to residents who have battled “deplorable” conditions on the sole road to the northern Saskatchewan community.

Published Jun 15, 20242 minute read

Top Stories Tamfitronics Cumberland House
With rains washing out Highway 123, which is the lone road into the community, Cumberland House officials on Friday, May 24, 2024 announced that they had declared a state of emergency in the village and Cree Nation. Photo by Village of Cumberland /SUPPLIED

Heavy rain is forecast for the Cumberland House area on Sunday — unwelcome news to residents who have battled “deplorable” conditions on the sole road to the northern Saskatchewan community.

A special weather statement was issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada on Saturday for Pelican Narrows, Cumberland House and Creighton forecasting heavy rain on Sunday, with heavy downpours and possible localized rainfall amounts of 30 to 50 mm, ending Sunday night.

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After rains and spring conditions washed out Highway 123 and made it largely impassable in late May, Cumberland House officials declared a state of emergency for the villageas well as the nearby Cree Nation.

“The deplorable and deteriorating conditions of Highway 123 puts the health and well-being of our community members in jeopardy,” said Cumberland House Mayor Ferlin McKay at the time.

“We are at a critical point and we’re calling on the federal and provincial governments to meet with our leadership immediately. The road is impassable to the transportation of important goods and services for our citizens. Essential things like milk, bread, baby formula and prescription medications are dwindling and impeding access to emergency services, and fly in services is alarming.”

The state of emergency prompted Cumberland MLA Doyle Vermette to slam the provincial government for its lack of any tangible service towards fixing the problem. Vermette challenged Premier Scott Moe to drive Highway 123 to experience the road conditions residents were forced to endure.

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Moe later said the Cumberland House community would be a “priority for conversations” with the provincial highways department.

“We’ll work with the community on any immediate challenges that they have and also work with the community on what the investment looks like for that road in the future, and I would say it needs to be more, not less,” he said.

Cumberland House is located approximately 450 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. The village and the First Nation each have a population of between 700 and 800 people.

With Saskatoon StarPhoenix files

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