June 16, 2014 3:13 pm
Updated: June 16, 2014 9:27 pm

Flood watch issued, as officials keep close eye on Alberta rivers


ABOVE: Sarah Offin has an update from High River, and Doug Vaessen takes a look at the Elbow River in Calgary.

CALGARY- This week marks the one year anniversary of the devastating floods that ravaged southern Alberta, and also brings more flood warnings.

On Monday, a flood watch was issued for the Wallaceville area of High River, along with the Crowsnest River and Willow Creek. High streamflow advisories were also issued for the Bow, Oldman, Milk and South Saskatchewan rivers.

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High River residents who still haven’t been able to return to their homes admit it’s time move, and some are in the process of negotiating buyouts.

“All of us here know that it is time to move on if they’re not going to do this, if they’re not going to protect the area,” says resident Jamie Kinghorn. “But the values are less than what I would consider the home value is.”

Other people in the town are beginning to move their possessions to high ground, and Environment Canada says water is expected to rise up to two metres over the next few days.

Meantime, officials in Calgary are also keeping a close eye on the Elbow and Bow rivers, with the Elbow expected to get 45 mm of rain by Tuesday.

A boom is set up around the Holy Cross Centre in Calgary on June 16. Tom Reynolds/Global News

“We don’t anticipate anything other than water pooling on some of the low lying paths, and I am sure the fire department will be issuing a boating advisory,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “That said, it’s an abundance of caution.

“At this point there is nothing to worry about.”

Water Services has lowered the level of the Glenmore Reservoir to make room for the incoming flow.

“There is a system tracking in southern Alberta. What we are anticipating now is the majority of the precipitation will get dumped south of us,” explained Rick Valdarchi from the Calgary Flood Mitigation Program. “However, as forecasts do change, we are increasing the flow coming out of the Glenmore Reservoir, we are creating a little more space in the event conditions change.”

A ban has also been put in place, prohibiting recreational use of the Glenmore Reservoir. As a result, the public is asked to stay away from the water until further notice.

Areas west of Calgary are also on watch, with a rainfall warning issued for Kananaskis Country and Canmore.


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