EDMONTON -- It’s not unusual for St. Albert residents to see water levels along the Sturgeon River rise above its banks.

“It was the same last spring,” said one resident out for a mid-day walk.

But mid summer, the river has swelled so high that it nearly reaches hand railings, and the pathways under the Perron Street bridge are difficult for walkers and cyclists alike.

“Never,” said one woman when asked if she has ever seen the water this high before. “I’ve lived here for 30 years and it’s never been this high.”

The city put up signs along the pathways on both the north and south banks that read “Trail flooded. Please use other route.”

"The Sturgeon River has experienced higher levels in 2019 and 2020, therefore low-lying areas of the Red Willow Trail system are subject to flooding. Sections of these trails were flooded prior to heavy rainfall experienced in the region on July 16, 2020," a city spokesperson wrote in a statement. 

"Residents are asked to use caution, obey all signage and avoid the flooded areas. The City urges residents to use nearby street level pedestrian crossings at controlled intersections as alternate routes where available."

At the Perron Street bridge, it means some residents out for a leisurely stroll are forced to walk up to street level and cross busy Perron Street.

“It’s doable still, but ya (it’s frustrating),” one told CTV News Edmonton.

“It’s just the way it is… you just go around,” laughed another resident.

Meanwhile, upstream towards Big Lake, the boat launch used by avid kayackers has been completely submerged.

Administration said these areas were closed in the Red Willow Trail system: 

  • under the Boudreau Road bridge, 
  • under St. Albert Trail south side; 
  • under Perron Street bridge, north and south sides; and 
  • under the Ray Gibbon Drive bridge. 

The City of St. Albert is asking anyone with concerns to contact City Public Works / Utilities at 780-459-1557 or the after-hours emergency line at 780-458-2020.