With the Swift Current Creek flood being over and the City of Swift Current having brought an end to the local emergency, there is now some time to reflect. 

For Swift Current Fire Department Fire Chief Ryan Hunter, the response by the City, his crews, the city crews, and everyone else was phenomenal. Now, he plans to commit the lessons learned to more than memory. 

We are going to have a team critique with all the agencies that were involved in about another week to 10 days," informed Hunter. "We're going to go through all our notes and see what we can do to possibly improve."

The flood was expected, with Hunter having been preparing weeks in advance. Typically, these floods come once every 13 years on average. This year, they had the benefit of their experience from the previous flood in 2011. 

"We had 10, 25, 50 and 100-year flood levels and where we needed to put barricades," said Hunter. "And that information was correct."

The swift response of Swift Current city council declaring a local emergency, combined with the prepared supplies in the city, enabled a fast reaction. The plan they had laid out, utilizing the knowledge from the last flood, proved to be effective. The barriers went up fast and held the water back from swallowing low-lying areas entirely. 

The sandbag barricades being used this time around were also amazingly efficient. Previously, hand load and assembled sandbags took 10's of hours to set up and could be prone to leaks. The newer barricades were larger, ready-to-fill barricades that were not only less prone to leaking but were easier to fill as well.  

Barricades being filledCrews filling sandbag barriers by Elmwood Park during the flood. (photo by Hayden Michaels)

These barricades being machine loadable and placeable enabled city crews to effectively utilize their existing workforce, with 10's accomplishing the work that used to take over 100 workers and volunteers. 

"That's a delicate balance, and the CAO (Jim Jones) with Mitch Minken and his team did a fantastic job with that," praised Hunter.