With heavy rainfall in Red Deer Monday night and much of the day Tuesday, the city of Red Deer activated its Emergency Operations Centre.
A rainfall warning from Environment Canada remained in place Tuesday for the city, with anywhere from 75 to 125 millimetres of rain possibly accumulating in “areas east of the foothills”.
Red Deer is preparing for potential flooding in the next 24 to 48 hours with a high streamflow advisory currently in effect for the Red Deer River.
“At this point, there is no flood advisory or warning in place for the city of Red Deer,” said Ken McMullen, director of emergency management on Tuesday afternoon.
McMullen noted streamflow advisories are issued by Alberta Environment when stream levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly. There have not been any breaches of Red Deer waterways, but crews are preparing sandbags to respond as needed over the next 48 hours.
“We have city crews monitoring for potential impacts to our critical infrastructure and at this time we expect the main impact to be limited to our park and trail systems, specifically in the area of Mckenzie Trails.”
Those trails are located in northeast Red Deer at the end of 45th Avenue.
The city has also closed Lion’s Campground to campers, all boat launches into the river, the Rec Centre outdoor pool, Capstone fountain, Blue Grass Sod Farm Central Spray and Play, and all sports fields and diamonds.
Environment Canada advises that heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is also possible and people should watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.
McMullen said Dickson Dam operators originally predicted an increase in the flow of up to 1,200 cubic metres per second for the Red Deer River.
“That is the flow rate approximately of what the province saw in 2013.”
But now Dickson Dam expects a slower flow, he said.
“We believe this will pass within a matter of days. We believe that the forecast will slightly improve over the weekend.”
Rain is expected to end Wednesday afternoon, but showers are possible again Thursday night. There’s also a 60 per cent chance of showers Saturday night, and during the day and night on Sunday. The chance of showers on Monday is 30 per cent.
McMullen asked everyone to stay away from waterway banks and off the river as conditions can change quickly and unpredictably.
The city’s Emergency Operations Centre remains activated and will update residents as conditions change. For the most up to date information visit reddeer.ca/flood.
Here’s how residents can help prepare for potential flooding:
• Stay off the Red Deer River.
• Ensure your downspouts are working and are down.
• If you use rain barrels, consider draining them regularly away from your house.
• Report blocked catch basins to Public Works at 403-342-8238.
• Remove important documents and items from your basement.
• If you have a sump pump, ensure it is working.
• Drive according to conditions and avoid driving through pooled water.
• Obey all closures and barricades.