April 16, 2018 1:58 pm
Updated: April 17, 2018 2:36 pm

Lethbridge County declares local state of emergency due to flooding

WATCH: Southern Alberta is being plagued with overland flooding, with Lethbridge County declaring a local state of emergency as waters continue to rise. Quinn Campbell reports.

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A local state of emergency was declared in Lethbridge County on Monday morning due to overland flooding, which county council believes poses an “imminent hazard to infrastructure and property.”

The alert was issued just before 11 a.m. Monday. The county said overland flooding is impacting rural areas and local roads. Many roads in the county are impassable and have been closed due to flooding.

“Crews are working to alleviate buildup of drainage water in areas where water is pooling or ponding above flood elevation,” read a media release from the county.

“To mitigate the impact of these conditions, drainage ways are required to be open to their full capacity and downstream landowners may be impacted.”

The county has directed staff to “undertake whatever actions are necessary to protect private and public property from damage with a special emphasis on the protection of residential dwellings and commercial/industrial structures.”

As of 11:30 a.m. Reeve Lorne Hickey said 12 road were closed due to water coming over the roadway. As of late Monday morning, no evacuations had been ordered.

“Sadly, I don’t think there’s an awful lot you can do. I know that you could try and sandbag it, but I’m not sure how effective that would be right now because a lot of times we’re uncertain as to what direction the water is coming from,” Hickey said.

“Because there’s so much volume of water right now, when the drain starts to back up it may not necessarily go the way you would normally expect it to.”

The local state of emergency allows the county more options to try to alleviate the flooding.

LISTEN: Kim Oseen’s property, in Taber County, was under 10 feet of water over the weekend

“It just seems to have all of a sudden come at once. I can’t say if it’s as bad as Taber or not, but it’s getting pretty close.”

Updated road closures are listed on the county’s Facebook page.

If your buildings or above-ground structures are in danger of flooding, please contact Lethbridge County at:

Daytime: (403) 732-5333
After hours: (403) 328-5525 and follow the voice prompts

The alert is one of five in place in southern Alberta Monday due to flooding. Alerts are also in place for the Municipal District of Willow Creek No. 26, County of Forty Mile No. 8, Vulcan County and the Municipal District of Taber.

MD of Taber

A local state of emergency was declared in the MD of Taber on Sunday. Localized flooding near roads and intersections is occurring in the MD Taber due to the large amounts of water. Some roads are impassable and may not be blocked off.

Residents are asked to avoid driving on roads that are impassable and not pass any barricades.

More information can be found on the municipal district’s website.

READ MORE: Highway 36 reopens near Taber after flooding prompts road closure: RCMP

MD of Willow Creek No. 26

Localized flooding near roads and intersections is also occurring in the MD of Willow Creek No. 26. Farmers’ fields, gravel back roads and any low-lying areas are the ones that are most affected.

The Town of Claresholm said in a Facebook post it is monitoring the situation within town limits, but an alert had not been issued as of Monday morning.

County of Forty Mile No. 8

Snow melt is leading to localized flooding in the County of Forty Mile No. 8. The province warns that water is flowing over roadways, leading to possible erosion.

Several roads in the county have been closed. Drivers are asked to avoid travelling through water-covered roads, as there may be unforeseen hazards.

People are asked to call 403-867-3940 if they find an unmarked hazard.

Vulcan County

The alert for Vulcan County was also issued on Monday morning. Melting snow is leading to overland flooding and water flowing over roads, which is also leading to erosion.

Multiple roads in the Carmangay, Shouldice and Queenstown areas have been closed, as well as roads north of Lomond Highway, west of the McGregor Lake area and Travers area.

To report roads that are affected by water and have no signage or barricades, contact Vulcan County Public Works at 403-485-6090.

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