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Update on flooding in southern Alberta

Parts of southern Alberta have experienced high river levels, significant rainfall and overland flooding. 

The situation continues to evolve as weather conditions change and peak flows move downstream. Albertans are advised to keep up to date with the latest advisories and information from their municipalities.

Municipalities and response agencies are reporting that the impact to date of the rain is significantly lower than last year’s flooding and affected communities are being supported with necessary services.

Community Updates

State of Local Emergency (SOLE) or Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs)

Newly declared

Town of Fort Macleod

  • Declared SOLE at 7:45 p.m. on June 18
  • River is rising, no impacts to homes currently.
  • Secondary Highway 811 north of Fort Macleod is closed due to overland flooding.

Town of McGrath

  • Declared a SOLE at 10:27 a.m. June 19
  • Agriculture and Rural Development have supplied pumps to the town.

MD of Taber

  • Declared a SOLE at 10:45 a.m. on June 19. EOC to be activated shortly.

Previously declared

Blood Tribe

  • SOLE in effect.
  • More than 130 homes have been affected by overland flooding or rain issues affecting approximately 350 residents that have been evacuated. Approximately 50 have been accommodated at a reception centre and others have been accommodated elsewhere.
  • A First Nations Field Officer has been deployed to the Blood Tribe.

Town of Cardston

  • SOLE in effect. EOC is active.
  • Town reports its water treatment and waste water systems are working well.

Town of Claresholm

  • SOLE in effect. EOC is active.
  • More than 35 homes affected by overland flooding.
  • Schools remain closed. Diploma exams are still being held. For more information on provincial examinations and potential exemptions contact Alberta Education at 780-427-0010 (toll free dial 310-0000 first).

Town of Coaldale

  • SOLE in effect. EOC is active.
  • Agriculture and Rural Development have supplied pumps to the town to support de-watering efforts.

Town of Coalhurst

  • SOLE in effect.

MD of Crowsnest Pass

  • SOLE in effect. EOC to close this afternoon.

Town of High River

  • EOC is active. 
  • High Stream Flow Advisory remains in place.

City of Lethbridge

  • EOC is active.
  • River expected to rise somewhat, but not expected to cause significant impact.
  • More than 300 homes affected by sewer backup/overland flooding.
  • City reports normal operations for water and wastewater treatment systems.
  • Alberta Health Services staff are working with Lethbridge to ensure Emergency Medical Services are available in all parts of the city should roads become closed or evacuations occur.

County of Lethbridge

  • SOLE in effect. EOC is active.
  • Valley residents are on alert for potential evacuation.
  • Agriculture and Rural Development have supplied pumps to the town to support de-watering efforts.

City of Medicine Hat

  • SOLE in effect. EOC is active.
  • Alberta Health Services staff are working with Medicine Hat to ensure Emergency Medical Services are available in all parts of the city should roads become closed or evacuations occur.

MD of Willow Creek

  • SOLE in effect. EOC is active.

Piikani Nation

  • Water is receding and roads are open.
  • Several homes affected by overland flooding.

Streamflow advisories

Bow River Basin

  • Bow River tributaries upstream of Calgary are rising and a high streamflow advisory is in effect.
  • Bow River downstream of Calgary and through Siksika First Nation is rising. A high streamflow advisory is in effect.
  • Elbow River is rising and a high streamflow advisory is in effect.
  • Fish Creek is rising and a high streamflow advisory is in effect.
  • Highwood River in Wallaceville neighbourhood in High River is rising. A flood watch is in effect.
  • Highwood River is rising and a high streamflow warning is in effect.
  • Sheep River at Black Diamond is rising and a flood watch is in effect.
  • Threepoint Creek is rising and a flood watch is in effect.

Milk River Basin

  • Milk River is rising and a high streamflow warning is in effect.
  • Tributaries flowing out of the Cypress Hills are steady and advisories are ended.

Oldman River Basin

  • Castle River is falling and a flood watch remains in effect.
  • Tributaries of the Crowsnest River are falling and a flood watch remains in effect.
  • Oldman River upstream of the Oldman Dam is rising and a flood watch is in effect.
  • Willow Creek downstream of Chain Lakes is rising and a flood watch is in effect.
  • Waterton River is rising and a flood warning is in effect.
  • Belly River is rising and a flood warning is in effect.
  • St. Mary River is rising and a flood watch is in effect.
  • Oldman River downstream of the Oldman Dam is rising and a flood watch is in effect.
  • Waterton Lake is rising and a flood warning is in effect.
  • Lee Creek is peaking and a flood watch is in effect.
  • Pincher Creek is rising and a flood watch is in effect.
  • Crowsnest River is falling and a flood watch remains in effect.

Red Deer River Basin

  • Little Red Deer River is falling and a flood watch is in effect.

Provincial Parks

A number of provincial parks remain closed or partially closed:

  • Beaver Mines Lake Provincial Recreation Area
  • Castle Falls Provincial Recreation Area
  • Castle River Bridge Provincial Recreation Area
  • Cottonwood campground
  • Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area
  • Oldman River Provincial Recreation Area
  • Park Lake Provincial Park - Group Use A Campground
  • Red Lodge Provincial Park
  • Three Rivers - Group Use Area

Government Response

  • The Provincial Operations Centre (POC) and the River Forecast Centre (RFC) are operating 24 hours.
  • The RFC is in regular communication with municipalities to provide updates as the situation changes and is working with dam operators to manage in and outflows to minimize impact.
  • Government of Alberta staff are on the ground across the southern Alberta region supporting municipalities, monitoring river flow volumes and potential issues from rivers and overland flooding.
  • Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) representatives have been dispatched to both the Lethbridge and Medicine Hat EOCs, and water and waste water specialists are working around the clock. ESRD has also provided portable water flow monitoring stations to the affected areas.
  • Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) Field Officers are on scene in Crowsnest Pass, Claresholm, and Medicine Hat.
  • Tourism Parks and Recreation has begun notifying campers in affected areas to prepare for potential evacuation.
  • The Government of Alberta continues to work with other levels of government and agencies including:
    • RCMP preparing to assist in evacuations where needed.
    • Health Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Officers are engaged with the Blood Tribe and are currently addressing potential issues with potable water.
    • Parks Canada has closed campgrounds and some roads in Waterton Lakes National Park.
    • The Alberta regional office of the EC Water Survey of Canada has deployed teams to Pincher Creek, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat to measure the flow volume in the rising rivers and streams and to repair any damages from high water.
    • Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) is offering support to neighbouring municipalities, if required.

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