Sundre sending an SOS

They can move tonnes of rock in a single sweep, but they need more help budging the wheels of bureaucracy.

They can move tonnes of rock in a single sweep, but they need more help budging the wheels of bureaucracy.

A team of citizens from Sundre, led by retired MP Myron Thompson, has lined up earthmovers, backhoes and people packing shovels for a rally on Sunday to demonstrate their fears that the Red Deer River is about to wash their town away.

Members of Save Our Sundre (SOS), organized by the Chamber of Commerce and supported by town council, have been pushing federal and provincial officials for permission to shift the river back to the channel where it ran before extreme flooding in 2005. The river has crept closer to homes and businesses every year since then, says the group.

Members believe that, left to run is current course, the river will overflow its banks and flood the town during its annual spring runoff, expected to begin in three weeks or less.

The group has been told that, despite imminent danger, it will take 12 to 18 months to get permits to excavate the river, Thompson said on Wednesday.

There has been a suggestion that the banks could be armoured to prevent further erosion, but that’s no help at all as long it continues to run its current course, he said.

Cold weather has held up the anticipated flood so far, said Thompson. But SOS has found two points on the river’s edge, both within one kilometre of town, that the group believes are setting up to flood.

Thompson said he has never been more riled up over bureaucratic foot-dragging.

“I get so frustrated that people just don’t seem to get it, and part of the problem is they don’t come down here and stand on the bank . . . and watch it erode steadily as it comes creeping towards the town.”

He’s hoping the rally on Sunday will get the message out that something can be done to protect the town, and that it should be neither expensive nor complicated.

“We just need to do that now,” he said.

The rally is set to take place in Sundre from 2 to 4 p.m., where Hwy 27 crosses the Red Deer River.

Contact Brenda Kossowan at

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read