Heavy rain sparks flooding, evacuation

HIGH RIVER — A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for parts of a southern Alberta town where recent heavy rain has choked a nearby river with runoff.

HIGH RIVER — A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for parts of a southern Alberta town where recent heavy rain has choked a nearby river with runoff.

The order comes after flooding sparked a state of emergency in High River, south of Calgary, where water has washed over the banks of the Highwood River.

Tim Whitford, a town spokesman, says a so-called bladder dike was pushed out of the way overnight and water immediately gushed in behind it.

The evacuation affects an estimated 80 homes in the community’s Wallaceville subdivision, while about a dozen units in a local campsite have been moved to higher ground.

Evacuees are being sent to a reception centre set up at a local high school.

Alberta Environment says up to 65 millimetres of rain has fallen on the region since Thursday evening, while more heavy rain is forecast over the next two days.