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Town of Fort Macleod closes flooding emergency centre

A portion of the bridge is washed out just downstream from the Oldman dam.

A portion of the bridge is washed out just downstream from the Oldman dam.

The Oldman River is flooding the valley at Brocket.

The Oldman River is flooding the valley at Brocket.

MD of Willow Creek residents are urged to move livestock away from creeks, rivers and tributaries while a state of emergency is in effect.

MD of Willow Creek residents are urged to move livestock away from creeks, rivers and tributaries while a state of emergency is in effect.

Water spills from the gates of the Oldman Dam after it was opened earlier today

Water spills from the gates of the Oldman Dam after it was opened earlier today

Flooding in the recreation area just downstream from the Oldman dam.

Flooding in the recreation area just downstream from the Oldman dam.

The flooding emergency is easing in Fort Macleod.
An emergency centre that opened at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall closed about 6:30 p.m.
Town of Fort Macleod manager David Connauton decided to close the emergency centre after learning the Oldman dam was decreasing the amount of water it is releasing.
“We had lots of people calling, offering to help,” Family and Community Support Services director Angie O’Connor said as she closed the centre. “Once again, the community was ready to help.”
Earlier Thursday the Town of Fort Macleod declared a state of emergency, which remained in effect even though the emergency centre closed.
The RCMP notified people living in the river valley earlier in the afternoon of flooding danger.
The RCMP also notified people in campgrounds near rivers and creeks to be aware of rising water.
Anyone who is forced to evacuate is asked to register at the emergency centre so officials can keep track of people in the event of flooding.
Fort Macleod residents are asked to conserve water to ease demand on the water treatment plant, which is under pressure dealing with higher amounts of sediment caused by the rising water levels.
The MD of Willow Creek also declared a state of emergency this afternoon and advise residents to move livestock away from streams and rivers.
The green bridge on Highway 520 has been washed out.
The gates of the Oldman Dam west of Fort Macleod are open and a portion of the bridge just downstream is washed out. The road there is closed.
Fort Macleod so far has avoided the kind of troubles facing neighbouring communities.
The entire town of High River is under an evacuation order, and military personnel have been called in to rescue people trapped on rooftops.
Residents of Canmore are cut off as flooding has closed Highway 1 in places.
People in Lethbridge, where a state of emergency has been declared, have been warned of possible flash floods.
About 1,000 people in the County of Lethbridge, including Monarch, are without power.
“I’ve been following today’s events with great concern, and my heart goes out to the many Albertans who have been evacuated due to the floods that are affecting much of southern and central Alberta today,” Premier Alison Redford said. “I strongly encourage everyone to follow the public safety orders of their municipalities. If you are being ordered to evacuate, please do so for your own safety.”
“My deepest thanks to all the volunteers, and municipal and provincial officials who have been coordinating emergency operations efforts, both on the ground and in the emergency operations centre. I know the Alberta Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the government’s response and officials will be working around the clock to manage the situation and keep Albertans safe.”
“I plan to visit the affected areas as soon as possible on Friday to see the situation first hand and to thank those who have been working so hard at keeping every one safe.”

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COVID-19: UPDATES

People in Fort Macleod and district who have symptoms and think they may have COVID-19 should call Health Link at 811. If their symptoms match the criteria, Health Link will advise on their next steps regarding testing.

Most recent updates below.

  • There are 358 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, including one in Claresholm.
  • Since yesterday, 31 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Alberta, bringing the total to 226. Sixteen cases are suspected to be as a result of community transmission. The rest are travel-related.
  • Canada and the United States have an agreement that will restrict non-essential travel across the border, including for tourism and recreation. Canadian and American citizens and permanent residents who are currently visiting each other's country can still return home.
  • Forty-nine new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Alberta, bringing the total Friday afternoon to 195. On a positive note, three people who contracted the virus have been identified as recovered.
  • Fort Macleod Fish and Game has cancelled its awards banquet set for Saturday, March 28.
  • The Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod is closed.
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