LETHBRIDGE – The M.D of Willow Creek is one of the hardest hit areas.
Residents living along the banks of Willow Creek are anxiously watching the river levels.
Duncan Fleming has already watched the water rise up over his corrals and into his farmyard. “Those slabs are about six feet tall and now you can only see about a foot of them.”
He adds dealing with the rising river is nothing new, but the destruction left behind never gets easier. “The rain comes and it floods, the water leaves and then there is a massive mess to clean up. It’s not easy.”
Upstream from the Flemings, Brenda Derochie is in awe of the swelling creek. On Wednesday morning, it was flowing bank to bank.
The river is now covering the entire valley, and has forced water into Derochies’ barn.
“It’s not good. It just wipes out all of your hard work, your fences and even the grass,” adds Derochie.
M.D of Willow Creek employees are working around the clock to repair roads that have been badly damaged. Over 10 roads have been closed and a number are in poor condition, but that damage is minimal compared to the extensive water laying throughout the M.D.
Travis Coleman is the manager of Emergency Services with the Willow Creek M.D., and he says the destruction was more than anticipated. “Once we got up in the air and had a look, it was actually really overwhelming. It was more than we expected to see.”
The town of Fort Macleod is in the southern part of the M.D.; a State Of Local Emergency was declared after the Oldman River spilled its banks.
“There are about 12 homes that have been impacted by the river, and we have had to close down Highway 811,” adds Deputy Mayor of Fort Macleod, Brent Fayter.
The Oldman River is expected to peak sometime Friday.