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Accidental Beach under water due to high North Saskatchewan River streamflow

Accidental Beach in Edmonton's North Saskatchewan River valley is under water due to high streamflow. July 6, 2018. .
Accidental Beach in Edmonton's North Saskatchewan River valley is under water due to high streamflow. July 6, 2018. . Credit: City of Edmonton

Temperatures are soaring in Edmonton and you may be tempted to pack up and head down to Accidental Beach — but that isn’t possible right now.

The popular sandbar on the North Saskatchewan River is now under water, due to the river level rising quickly this week.

READ MORE: New rules for Accidental Beach now in effect

According to the Province of Alberta, river levels are responding to rainfall in the northwestern and west-central portions of the province earlier this week. A high streamflow advisory is in effect for the North Saskatchewan.

The advisory applies to the main stem of the river from its confluence with the Nordegg River (near Drayton Valley) to the Saskatchewan border.

“A rapid and significant rise in water level is expected, however, flows are expected to remain within the normal range for this time of the year,” the province said.

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READ MORE: Edmonton to consider proposals for creating permanent beach for sun lovers on North Saskatchewan River

The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton rose 1.1 m to a flow of 450 m3/s on Thursday. A secondary, lower peak of around 430 m3/s is expected Friday overnight.

“Remember the river is powerful, deceptive and fast-moving,” the City of Edmonton tweeted. “The banks of the river can also be unstable and unpredictable.”

Accidental Beach in Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River valley is under water due to high streamflow. July 5, 2018.
Accidental Beach in Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River valley is under water due to high streamflow. July 5, 2018. Courtesy: Lauren Fink

Water levels will remain high into Saturday before beginning to fall slowly. Low-lying areas within the river channel may become flooded, but no significant flooding is expected.

That means for the next few days, Accidental Beach will be submerged. The beach on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River appeared by fluke last year, thanks to temporary berms that were placed in the water as part of ongoing LRT construction.

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READ MORE: City prepares for Accidental Beach by implementing parking, garbage, enforcement changes

The high streamflow advisory will remain in effect until water levels return to or approach their normal seasonal ranges, the province said.

WATCH: As a way to celebrate the end of summer last September, 620 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen held a beach party at Accidental Beach. (Sept. 8, 2017)

630 CHED hosts beach party at accidental beach
630 CHED hosts beach party at accidental beach