Flood vigilance urged

The province is urging Albertans to stay ahead of the game by taking steps to mitigate the potential spring flooding.

The province is urging Albertans to stay ahead of the game by taking steps to mitigate the potential spring flooding.

Flooding is a natural occurrence and the potential for spring flooding depends on rainfall, snow pack, soil moisture and temperature.

The province continually monitors these factors and keeps municipalities informed of the situation.

Last June’s flooding affected more than 100,000 Albertans in more than 30 communities. Since then, the Alberta government has been working to implement flood mitigation and make the province a safer place.

Alberta’s approach to mitigation includes short and long-term projects to protect against future floods and reduce negative downstream impacts.

Engineering studies are currently being done on the Oldman, Red Deer, Bow, Elbow, Highwood, South Saskatchewan, Sheep and Athabasca rivers to assess mitigation options for these flood-prone river basins.

The proposed Highwood River Diversion and the Elbow River Dry Dam are in the community consultation and environmental review stage.

Some tips to reduce flooding and protect your home include:

l Redirect storm water away from your house. Make sure the ground slopes away from your house on all sides

l Put weather protection sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors

l Install the drainage for downspouts a sufficient distance from your residence to ensure that water moves away from the building

l Consider installing a sump pump and zero reverse flow valves in basement floor drains.

l Do not store your important documents in the basement. Keep them at a higher level to protect them from flood damage

l Protecting your family and property during a flood

l Know the warning systems your municipal government uses. Make sure you know what the signals mean, how they will be used, and what you should do when you hear it.

l At the first warning of a flood, turn off electrical power and leave it off. Do NOT attempt to shut off electricity if any water is present

l Turn off basement furnaces and the outside gas valve

l Take special precautions to safeguard electrical, natural gas or propane heating equipment

l Move furniture, electrical appliances and other belongings to floors above ground level

l Remove toxic substances such as pesticides from the flood area to prevent pollution.