A runoff advisory, which includes Central Alberta, from the Alberta Emergency Alert system is more routine than alarming, according to a government spokesperson.
With the warming temperatures and dense snowpack from the winter, Sarah Jackson, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development spokesperson, said the alert issued on Monday was to make people aware of what was coming.
“I know some people saw it come across Facebook pages and saw the emergency alert and have a heightened awareness,” said Jackson. “This is actually a routine advisory addressing concerns Albertans have regarding the snowpacks.”
The alert was for a majority of the province. While ESRD does not expect significant rises in water levels on the major rivers, there could be localized flooding in creeks, streams or sewer backups.
The alert said the generally cool spring conditions, combined with heavy snowfalls across the province during the winter, has resulted in snowpack that is above average and has not had the chance to melt gradually. Now with the rather abrupt rise in temperature, the snow will melt at a faster pace given the sudden and sustained temperature increase.
According to the alert, in the coming days water levels in smaller creeks is anticipated to rise with a possibility of flooding in low-lying areas.
“People may start to see localized flooding on their properties or in their neighbourhood,” said Jackson. “Due to the melting and then overnight freezing, sewers may back up in some areas.”
In cases like what Jackson described. people should call their municipality — for Red Deer they can contact Environmental Services at 403-342-8750.
Jackson said if there is any potential for flooding in creeks and streams they will let municipalities know. The province’s flood forecasting centre is aware of the situation.
“We want people to be observant and watch their areas,” said Jackson. “If the situation were to progress, our flood forecasting centre makes contact with municipalities as fast as they can.”
Jackson said the next heightened water levels time will likely be in June when rains typically occur.