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Fort Macleod in local state of emergency; Highway 811 closed

Flood water was crossing Highway 811 earlier Wednesday evening before the road was closed.

Flood water was crossing Highway 811 earlier Wednesday evening before the road was closed.

Highway 811 was closed at the Mackenzie bridge in Fort Macleod. Water from the Oldman River is flowing across the road.

Highway 811 was closed at the Mackenzie bridge in Fort Macleod. Water from the Oldman River is flowing across the road.

River Valley Wilderness Park was flooded by the Oldman River.

River Valley Wilderness Park was flooded by the Oldman River.

The Town of Fort Macleod called a state of local emergency Wednesday night, but people are not yet being forced to leave their homes.
Some river valley residents had already moved belongings out of the water’s path before the state of local emergency was declared in Fort Macleod.
The Oldman River has flooded River Valley Wilderness Park and was about a foot deep crossing Highway 811 at about 10 p.m.
Highway 811 is closed at the Mackenzie bridge in Fort Macleod.
The Town of Fort Macleod also has a water advisory in place.
Due to the high turbidity of the water in the Oldman River, which supplies the community’s treatment plant, the Town of Fort Macleod has asked people to limit personal water use.
That includes not using dishwashers and washing machines, and limiting the amount of water used for showers and baths.
According to the Oldman Dam Downstream Stakeholders Guild’s Web site, the river’s flow at Fort Macleod was 770 cubic metres per second at 8 p.m.
That’s slightly higher than Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development’s predictions at 4 p.m. that the Oldman’s peak flow would be 700 cms early Thursday morning.
During the 2013 flood the peak flow was 2,250 cms. In 2005 it was 1,750 and in 1995 it was 2,750.
The forecast was initially for peak flows of 1,700 cms but rainfall overnight Tuesday and Wednesday was not as heavy as predicted.
The guild was advised outflows from the Oldman Dam should remain at 750 cms, depending on whether there is heavy rainfall.
According to the MD of Willow Creek, the municipality is faced with wide-spread flooding throughout the western and southern portions of the municipality.
The forecast is for another 25 mm of rain overnight Wednesday.
People are advised to stay away from the shores of rivers and streams as the ground is saturated and banks are subject to severe sloughing.

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