Heavy rains and swollen waterways cause for concern, officials say

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SUMMERSIDE - RCMP on P.E.I. are urging Islanders to take precautions with the extra water that has resulted in the last few days of rain and melting snow.

As the weather gets warmer and there is more rain then snow along with some freezing and thawing the dreaded potholes are making an appearance such as this one on Upper Queen Street in Charlottetown.

Ditches and other areas have turned into tempting and dangerous novelties to children and parents should explain the dangers this can create, the Mounties said it a release issued Wednesday.

“The mix of heavy rain and melting snow has softened the soil to the point that some of our highway shoulders have washed out,” said Sgt. Andrew Blackadar.  “This is causing safety issues for those working on our spring-condition roadways and for those travelling on the roads." 

He said the resulting water is also creating some deep ditches and areas that youth might be tempted to explore.

“But it is possible that these activities can lead to injury or death,” he said. “It's important that children understand the dangers and stay clear of any waterways or ice flows that will be part of our landscape during the spring thaw."

The provincial transportation department is also warning Islanders about the possible dangers.

Drivers should be aware of highway maintenance crews as they work to repair shoulder washouts, says Transportation Minister Robert Vessey.

“For your safety and the safety of our maintenance crews, please use caution when approaching areas where work is happening to repair the damage caused by this most recent weather event.”

Standing water on roadways and water-filled potholes are also concerns right now, and drivers should slow down when approaching large puddles or avoid them if possible. Prince Edward Island’s silty clay soil collects and holds more water than other less absorbent soils, making it more prone to washouts and also to potholes, as the moist soil under the road surface re-freezes and expands to cause cracking in the pavement above.

Work will begin in late May on permanent pothole repair as weather permits.

To report a road problem such as a shoulder or road washout, pothole, or a downed road sign, visit www.gov.pe.ca/reportproblems.

Organizations: Mounties

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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