May rainfall causing some concern for overland flooding in southern Alberta

Click to play video: 'May rainfall causing some overland flooding concerns in southern Alberta' May rainfall causing some overland flooding concerns in southern Alberta
WATCH ABOVE: The dry conditions in southern Alberta got a bit of a reprieve over the last couple of days. As Quinn Campbell reports, some areas were dealing with a risk of overland flooding – May 21, 2020

Dry conditions across southern Alberta saw a bit of a reprieve this week. Rainfall over the last 48 hours is accumulating and has caused some minor issues within the City of Lethbridge.

“For the most part, the water has had time to leave the streets and head down the drains, but where the catch basins were blocked, crews had to go out and clear them so they could flow freely. They were quite busy this morning,” said Doug Kaupp, general manager of water and waster water with the city.

READ MORE: Southern Alberta continues to battle drought despite wet July

As the rain comes, the Oldman River has seen an increase in flow and debris in the water as tributaries upstream feed into the river.

“It’s quite a bit dirtier than it was a week ago,” Kaupp said.

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He added this first significant rain event is a good reminder to check your property to protect it from flooding.

“Making sure that their eaves-troughs are working and the downspouts are directing the water far enough away from their home so that it doesn’t impact their basements or sump pumps.”

Areas outside of Lethbridge are also dealing with challenges due to the rain.

The M.D of Willow Creek issued a notice to residents of an increase in water flows within rivers and creeks in the municipality. The M.D said it’s monitoring the potential for overland flooding within the Hamlet of Granum.

According to Global News weather specialist Paul Dunphy, Lethbridge is on track for the amount of moisture typically seen in the month of May.

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“Coming into today we were at a monthly total of 18 mm. We picked up 11 (mm) of that yesterday, which put us at about 36 per cent of the usual monthly total for May of 50 mm, and we are likely close to that with what we received today, which shouldn’t be a problem because the ground has been dry coming into this rainfall event.”

In the coming weeks, there isn’t a whole lot more precipitation expected in the Lethbridge region.

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