Evacuation order issued due to flooding in the Fort McMurray area
EDMONTON -- Flooding within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alta., is forcing some residents from their homes.
People living in the community of Draper and the Taiga Nova Industrial Park need to evacuate immediately, according to an emergency alert on Sunday.
Mandatory evacuations have also been ordered for the Waterways, the Longboat Landing neighbourhood, Reidel Street to Marshall Street along Manning Avenue, Pond Crescent, Poplar Crescent and the southern portion of Alberta Drive and for Demers Drive, Armit Crescent, Fitzsimmons Avenue, Father Mercredi Street and the Platinum Hotel.
The Athabasca River and Clearwater River are currently experiencing extremely high water levels due to the spring ice breakup.
A voluntary evacuation notice has also been issued for the Ptarmigan Court Trailer Park in Waterways.
Evacuees are being directed to a drive-thru reception centre that has been set up at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray.
Everyone in the areas of Waterways and lower town site of Fort McMurray must be prepared to evacuate on short notice.
All residents are advised to avoid river banks and shorelines as they remain dangerous, and to avoid stopping on the Athabasca bridge to watch the river.
The municipality declared a secondary state of local emergency due to the flooding, which comes on top of an initial state of local emergency declared last month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Don Scott, says the Fort McMurray area is no stranger to floods.
“This is a yearly challenge. The last time we had a flood was 1997 and we had a different kind of flood in 2013, but in 1977, 1997 we had similar ice jam floods so we prepare for this every single year.”
"The integrity of the downtown is secure at this point although we’ve asked people to be ready."
The regional government has also issued a boil water advisory Monday morning for all areas of Fort McMurray north of Athabasca River bridges.
The advisory, which remains in effect until further notice, was issued on the advice of Alberta Health Services. The advisory covers seven neighbourhoods and the Taiga Nova Eco-Industrial park.
With files from The Canadian Press