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Ice jam prompts voluntary evacuation for Red Deer County subdivision

An ice jam in the Little Red Deer River from April 11, 2014.
An ice jam in the Little Red Deer River from April 11, 2014. Bindu Suri/Global News

An ice jam on the Little Red Deer River at Highway 587 subsided late Monday night and water levels were receding from earlier in the day, according to an Alberta Emergency Alert.

The updated alert was sent out shortly after 10 p.m. Monday, and said localized flooding of roads and property was still a possibility as river levels fluctuate. Highway 587 also reopened between Range Road 23 and Range Road 25.

An earlier alert, sent just before 5 p.m., said a “substantial ice jam” on the Little Red Deer River at Highway 587 was causing localized flooding on roads and property.

“Affected residents in low lying areas near Highway 587, including Silver Lagoon subdivision and Red Lodge Estates should take immediate measures to protect life and property,” the alert read.

“Residents of Silver Lagoon are under a voluntary evacuation notice.”

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The voluntarily evacuation notice for the Silver Lagoon subdivision remained in place late Monday night.

The deputy director of emergency management with Red Deer County said they visited 30 affected properties and spoken with about 10 people who were home Monday afternoon.

“The water in the river is taking other routes other than the river because of the ice jam,” Dave Brand said earlier Monday evening. “We do have some affected residences in low-lying areas downstream of that, including some subdivisions.”

He said Silver Lagoon is on the west side of the river and Red Lodge Estates is on the other.

“In the entire basin that we have in those flood plains, there’s approximately 150 homes.”

Brand said the county is working on a solution to the ice jam with Alberta Environment and Alberta Transportation, since a provincial highway was also impacted.

“We’re certainly not river hydrology experts, we leave that to Alberta Environment … but based on where the water flow is going, it is a significant jam that is impeding flow of the river quite significantly.

“We’re asking folks to be cognizant … and to prepare to protect themselves and their property accordingly.”

Snow melt is also causing overland flooding throughout the county, resulting in road closures and localized flooding.

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Residents located within five kilometres of flooded areas are being advised to boil any drinking water as a cautionary measure.

A registration centre for evacuees was set up at Cottonwood Gordon Hall, located at 3005 Township Road 352, at 5 p.m. Monday. As of 10:15 p.m. Monday, the reception centre was closed.

Sandbags are available at the Spruceview Fire Hall.

READ MORE: Alberta community flooded after ice jam in Little Red Deer River 

Flooding occurred in the same subdivision in 2014 when an ice jam clogged the Little Red Deer River.

READ MORE: Significant spring flooding triggers state of local emergency in Lamont County 

Overland flooding alerts have been issued for several regions across Alberta, including Vulcan, Taber and Lamont County. Some regions have even issued states of local emergency.

Click here for the latest conditions from the Alberta Emergency Alert website.