Ice jam causes Red Deer River flood

Water was pouring from the Red Deer River Saturday, flooding paths at Bower Ponds, Three Mile Bend, the Lion’s Campground and the Waskasoo Trail along the river’s south shoreline.

Rory Braconnier

Water was pouring from the Red Deer River Saturday, flooding paths at Bower Ponds, Three Mile Bend, the Lion’s Campground and the Waskasoo Trail along the river’s south shoreline.

D.J. Brough, the on call person for the City of Red Deer’s environmental services, said the ice floe started at Three Mile Bend at the island in the river.

Standing at the train bridge, jammed ice could be seen all the way up and down the river.

Brough has worked for the city for six years and has never seen flooding like Saturday, but one of his colleagues who has worked for the city for more than 30 years could think of at least three times when the ice caused this kind of flooding.

City staff were assessing what to do early Saturday.

“That’s mother nature and you can’t beat her,” Brough said. “You just kind of have to wait until she clears herself out.”

He said environmental services staff will examine what the situation is like at Three Mile Bend and see what they can do.

People were standing at the train bridge taking pictures and video of the flooding Saturday.

Jody Barrett was there with some family members taking photos. “It’s pretty amazing,” she said.

Her son Nick was checking out the water filling up 54 Ave., where his school bus normally drives through to get to class.

“He was hoping school might be cancelled,” said Jody, but they explained to him the bus would find another route.

Rachel MacNamara was driving by on Gaetz Avenue, with her boyfriend Emerson Heffernan, when they saw the flooding and stopped to have a look. She has lived in Red Deer for five years, moving here from Cape Breton. She said she’s never seen anything like it. “It’s crazy.”

Heffernan joked, “I wonder if there are any fish. I need to throw a bobber in.”

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

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