The Oldman River flow could reach the same level as a 2005 flood in Fort Macleod if a storm continues to batter southern Alberta as expected.
c”Right now we’re waiting to see how the storm progresses,” said Evan Friesenhan, director of the river forecasting section of Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources Development during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
The storm originating out of the United States is expected to dump 200 mm of rain in the Crowsnest Pass by the time it ends on Thursday morning.
Alberta Environment on Tuesday issued a flood advisory for the entire Oldman River basin.
“Water levels will be higher this year than 2013,” Friesenhan said.
Snowpack is rated as average to above average, Friesenhan said, although reports were coming in that it was snowing in the mountains.
“We’re still waiting for what happens above the Oldman Dam,” Friesenhan told reporters.
By Tuesday afternoon 30 to 40 mm of rain had already fallen.
Thane Hurlburt, acting chairman of the Oldman Dam Downstream Stake-holders Guild, said people living along the river are monitoring the situation.
“Some people have started moving stuff,” Hurlburt said of precautionary steps.
Stream flow could reach 5,300 cubic metres per second in Medicine Hat if the Oldman flow is 4,500 cms iand the Bow flow is 800 cms when the two rivers converge downstream of Fort Macleod.
The County of Lethbridge declared a state of emergency early Tuesday afternoon and the MD of Willow Creek followed suit about 4 p.m.