Some Stettler youngsters turned July flooding on their residential street into a boating adventure this week. (Black Press file photo).

An extra-rainy July in central Alberta leads to flooding

Five of the next nine days are supposed to bring rain

Unrelenting July rain is causing flooding in some central Alberta communities and has temporarily closed some Red Deer sports fields.

Resourceful Stettler youngsters were able to boat down their residential street after a sudden, intense rainstorm hit Tuesday, while some Stettler adults were up to their knees in waters.

Red Deer’s streets and trails haven’t been affected by flooding yet. But parks manager Trevor Poth said the forecast looks a little “ominous.”

Rain or thunderstorms are predicted for five of the next nine days, so Poth said he will be monitoring the situation.

Historically, Red Deer is most prone to flooding during the third week of June. But July is susceptible to strong thunderstorms, said Environment Canada’s warning preparedness meteorologist, Dan Kulak, of Edmonton.

Only one of the city’s two weather monitoring stations is working this summer, due to staff shortages related to the pandemic. But a government station in the city’s southeast indicates that 162.9 millimetres fell from June 1 to July 8.

Kulak said this is about 50 per cent more rain than the average of 113.7 millimetres for this same period. (Normal precipitation is about 94 millimetres each for June and July).

While the Red Deer River has been running high of late, Poth said it hasn’t yet spilled onto any low-lying park trails. Since Waskasoo Creek can rise quickly, parks workers are “keeping an eye on things.”

Poth noted that Dickson Dam is only 80 per cent full, so there’s no need to open its gates and allow more water into downstream rivers and creeks.

On Wednesday, community ball diamonds and city-run sports fields in Red Deer’s Great Chief Park were closed because of rain.

All scheduled activities were cancelled to allow the soil to dry out.

Poth noticed a few other sports fields, particularly low-lying ones that also serve as storm water retention ponds, are also soggy.

He’s asking city residents to stay off the fields, as cleats and other athletic footwear will tear them up and it could take the rest of the season to reclaim them.

Meanwhile, Kulak cautions residents to always watch for fast-moving dark clouds, which signal a thunderstorm is arriving.

Rumblings or thunderclaps should be considered a prompt to immediately return indoors, since lightning kills two or three people a year in Canada — which Kulak said is more than hail, rain, wind and hurricanes.

He advises Albertans to be vigilant and not take chances with dangerous weather. Lightning and tornadoes can seemingly arise out of nowhere, he added, and “by the time you hear an emergency alert, it’s usually too late.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Alberta Weather

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maskwacis teen charged in 10-year-old boy’s death

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

Still no mandatory masks in Red Deer

While a growing number of Alberta communities have made masks mandatory, the… Continue reading

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

Red Deer asking for feedback on new transit routes

The new routes will begin Aug. 23

Rainbow flag raised at Red Deer College to kick off Pride Week

Central Alberta Pride Week runs next week

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

Quebec festivals organizers look to innovate as restrictions loosened

Montreal has been having its quietest summer in recent memory, as COVID-19… Continue reading

COVID-19 outbreaks over in federal prisons, staff preparing for ‘new normal’

COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada’s federal prisons have been declared over, and staff… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot… Continue reading

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

OTTAWA — The federal government will match all individual donations from Canadians… Continue reading

Protests in Beirut amid public fury over massive blast

BEIRUT — Police fired tear gas and clashed with demonstrators in Lebanon’s… Continue reading

Biden risks alienating young Black voters after race remarks

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s controversial remarks about race this week risk alienating… Continue reading

Red Sox Hold off Blue Jays with Moreland’s Bat and Bullpen

Red Sox Hold off Blue Jays with Moreland’s Bat and Bullpen

Most Read