The rising Red Deer River has flooded sections of Red Deer’s Waskasoo Park and forced the city to close some trails.
City of Red Deer Parks superintendent Trevor Poth said on Monday that several sections of the North Bank Trail were closed at noon due to high water levels in the Red Deer River.
Alberta Environment spokesperson Chris Bordeau said flood advisories are still in place for the Red Deer River downstream of the Dickson Dam. Advisories are also still out for the South Saskatchewan River at Medicine Hat.
Cold river water — fast moving and loaded with debris — continues to rush through Red Deer in the wake of last week’s rain, which resulted when a low pressure system brought heavy precipitation to Southern Alberta in the three days ending Sunday morning. The rain on the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies has caused rivers and streams to bulge.
Since last Wednesday afternoon, 70 to 120 mm of precipitation fell in the mountains and foothills west of Calgary and Lethbridge.
Waskasoo Park trails at Lion’s Campground, Great West Adventure Park and Kiwanis Picnic Park to the Heritage Ranch pedestrian bridge were closed until further notice, Poth said.
Boat launches at Great West Park and near the Taylor Avenue bridge were both closed due to flooding.
The South Bank Trail is open and park users are encouraged to enjoy the extensive trail system within the park, Poth added.
He also said people should use caution near the river and obey all signs.
People should stay a safe distance from dangerous areas until the river levels return to normal.
Poth said temporary barricades have been placed in the flooded locations to keep people a safe distance from the river.
Spring runoff is expected to cause high river levels for a few more weeks.
The flood waters prevented visitors from staying at Red Lodge Provincial Park west of Bowden on Friday through the weekend. Campers with reservations were refunded.
There’s also a high stream flow advisory in effect for the little Red Deer River and the Red Deer River upstream and downstream of the Dickson Dam.
River water levels were falling at 3 p.m. Monday on the Littler Red Deer River and the Red Deer River upstream of the Dickson. However, water level status was rising on the river downstream of Dickson, an Alberta Environment status report said.
High stream flow status means levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly but no major flooding is expected.
No significant precipitation is forecast for the next couple of days in the Red Deer area but light rain is forecast from Wednesday through the weekend.