An above-normal risk of flooding isn’t expected this spring, but the City of Red Deer is still prepared for an emergency.
Paul Goranson, director of protective services, said the peak for potential localized flooding comes in mid-June.
“We have experienced in the past, at different times of the year, high levels of the Red Deer River, as well as the contributory creeks that go through the city,” said Goranson.
He said the city has a “structured process” to monitor, forecast and prepare for possible flooding. This includes regularly monitoring Alberta river forecasting.
“Each year we … bring all the departments together that typically end up responding to or are involved in dealing with flood conditions in the city, and have a bit of an update and touch base to make sure everyone’s equipment and plans are in order.”
Any flooding of the Red Deer River is typically driven by melting snow in the mountains and heavy rainfall, Goranson said.
“The snowpack this year is normal, so we’re not anticipating an above-normal risk of flooding of the Red Deer River. But that can change in a hurry, depending on if there is some sustained rainfall,” he said.
There are things residents can do to protect their home in the case of localized flooding.
“At any time, we can get localized flooding and risks in different neighbourhoods, just because of sudden downfalls of rain. … Be proactive, check and do some maintenance at home. That’s likely going to save you some problems in the future.
“It’s best to make sure your (rain gutters) are working properly and that your downspouts are draining away from your foundation.”
The City of Red Deer’s website suggest residents do the following if they experience flood damage to their home:
- Contact their insurance provider immediately;
- Begin cleanup and restoration immediately to ensure protection of health and to prevent further damage to home and belongings;
- Document everything related to the flooding, including taking photos and keeping a detailed list of damaged property and costs.
The city notifies residents if they are at risk through various channels, including social media and the emergency alert system Notify Red Deer.
For more information on emergency preparedness, visit www.reddeer.ca.