Hinshaw eases COVID-19 rules for people in Wood Buffalo dealing with flooding: Kenney

Click to play video: 'Kenney calls Alberta floods ‘heartbreaking’' Kenney calls Alberta floods ‘heartbreaking’
WATCH ABOVE (April 28): During his update on COVID-19, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney spoke about the floods in Fort McMurray and Fort Vermillion – Apr 28, 2020

Premier Jason Kenney says the province’s chief medical officer of health is relaxing some COVID-19 restrictions for people who are dealing with flooding in northern Alberta.

Kenney says in a tweet sent out late Tuesday that there have been concerns expressed in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, about physical distancing and gathering limits while volunteering.

READ MORE: Mayor, council tour Fort McMurray to assess flood damage: ‘We will get through this’

He says Dr. Deena Hinshaw has exempted municipality residents from the restrictions.

Kenney says the province is shipping masks to Fort McMurray to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Click to play video: 'Fort McMurray’s historic floods prompt evacuations' Fort McMurray’s historic floods prompt evacuations
Fort McMurray’s historic floods prompt evacuations – Apr 28, 2020

A 25-kilometre-long ice jam has caused major flooding and forced about 13,000 people from their homes in the city’s downtown earlier this week.

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READ MORE: ‘A very surreal kind of moment’: Fort McMurray woman shares video of flooding in childhood home

It has led to a second state of local emergency on top of one declared last month because of the pandemic.

Municipal council members toured the areas affected by flooding Tuesday night. They said in a news release that they will share preliminary assessments and an estimate of the damage in the coming days.

READ MORE: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tours flooded Fort McMurray, offers support

“It is difficult to see the damage that has been done to our community during these trying times,” Mayor Don Scott said in a news release.

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“Together we will get through this historic flooding event as a strong and resilient community like we have done before.”

Fort McMurray has dealt with its share of disasters, including a raging wildfire four years ago that forced an evacuation of the entire city and destroyed 2,400 homes and buildings.

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