Barricades are set up the McKenzie Trail Boat Launch and at other access points to Red Deer River. (Contributed)

Barricades are set up the McKenzie Trail Boat Launch and at other access points to Red Deer River. (Contributed)

‘Very dynamic’: City of Red Deer continues to monitor river for potential flood risk

Rainfall warning ends for Red Deer and central Alberta

The rainfall warning for Red Deer ended late Wednesday morning, but the Red Deer River’s water level will likely rise about one metre by Thursday afternoon.

Despite the rising water level, the city says flooding is still only expected at McKenzie Trails, with no residential impact.

“This morning outflows from the Dickson Dam increased to approximately 250 cubic metres per second. What that means for us is that we expect to see the Red Deer River begin rising approximately one metre starting between 6 and 7 p.m. tonight and peaking sometime Thursday afternoon,” said Ken McMullen, the city’s director of emergency management on Wednesday.


A-Soo-Wuh-Um Park and Joffre Bridge Day Use Area temporarily closed

Red Deer saw upwards of 60 millimetres of rain Tuesday, but McMullen said precipitation is only one factor when determining flood risk.

Outflow rate from Dickson Dam and the rate of snow pack melt in the Rockies also impact the Red Deer River. The high streamflow advisory remains in effect for the river.

“The situation and the flood risk for the city and Red Deer River remains very dynamic. It’s changing within minutes, it’s changing within hours, as flow rates on the river are continuously fluctuating.”

All access to the river is barricaded and everyone should stay off the river and away from the banks.

The city’s Emergency Operations Centre continues to monitor local waterways for impacts.

McMullen said as far as basement flooding due to the amount of precipitation, there are some neighbourhoods that have a higher likelihood of some sort of water seepage into their basement due to their local water table. But there has yet to be any significant concerns with basement flooding.

Red Deer County said in a release Wednesday they are actively monitoring water levels and has closed all day use areas along the Red Deer River until further notice.

“Residents in low lying areas or adjacent to water courses should take necessary precautions,” they said.

“Saturated soils and fast flowing water can make riverbanks unstable and prone to erosion. Avoid areas adjacent to waterways until flows subside and avoid roadways covered in water until conditions can be assessed for safety.”

They also indicated that peak flow will reach the bridge over the Little Red Deer River on highway 587 sometime Wednesday evening.


UPDATE: Red Deer prepares for potential flooding

The following amenities in Red Deer also remain closed:

• All boat launches into the Red Deer River.

• Lion’s Campground.

• Great Chief Park (both ball diamonds and Setters Place).

• The Outdoor Pool at the Recreation Centre.

• Capstone Fountain.

• Blue Grass Sod Farms Central Spray & Play.

• All outdoor sports fields.

Residents are asked to continue to call Public Works at 403-342-8238 if they see blocked catch basins or locations of water pooling on city streets.

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