Southern Alberta flooding prompts state of local emergency

By Lethbridge News Now (Geoff Smith)
April 16, 2018 - 11:10am

LETHBRIDGE – Several municipalities in southern Alberta were under a State of Local Emergency Monday, April 16 due to overland flooding from the melting snow.

Lethbridge County was added to the list Monday morning, due to imminent hazard to infrastructure and property. In a news release, the county said it would place a priority on protecting residential homes and commercial and industrial buildings.

Several Lethbridge County roads are closed. Crews are working to ease the buildup of water. People with property in imminent danger are asked to call 403-732-5333 during the day, or 403-328-5525 after hours.

In the M.D. of Taber, the falling rain Monday was only adding to a problem that was made worse by warm temperatures over the weekend.

“Residential properties that have been impacted number into the dozens at this point,” chief administrative officer Derrick Krizsan said Monday. “We have well over 100 roads closed at this point in time and we’re really just starting to see the melt occurring in the Vauxhall, Hays, and south Grassy Lake areas. So, certainly, we are probably closer to the middle of this than the end.”

Krizsan said two families had evacuated their homes. He urged people to be mindful when driving, and any road could be flooded at a given time. However, he wasn’t aware of any people being stranded on their property.

“We had a heavy frost this year, and the frost is not yet out of the road surface. So, we’ve got a very slimy, very slippery, boggy road surface in every location and every area of the municipality,” he added. Crews are doing their best to direct drivers onto passable roads and are standing by to begin repairs afterwards.

Localized flooding was reported in the M.D. of Willow Creek, particularly near roads and intersections. An overland flood alert was issued there Monday morning. Similar conditions were described in Forty Mile County, which issued an alert Sunday night.

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