Ris­ing lev­els of con­cern in county


Lethbridge Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Dave Ma­bell LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

A state of lo­cal emer­gency re­mains in ef­fect in Leth­bridge County, as melt­wa­ter con­tin­ues to flood cul­verts and road­ways.

Some county roads are closed and im­pass­able, of­fi­cials re­port, as over­land wa­ter over­flows ditches and be­gins stream­ing across the gravel or pave­ment.

“County coun­cil be­lieves that there is an im­mi­nent haz­ard to in­fras­truc­ture and prop­erty and has di­rected mu­nic­i­pal staff to un­der­take what­ever ac­tions are nec­es­sary to pro­tect pri­vate and pub­lic prop­erty from dam­age with a spe­cial em­pha­sis on the pro­tec­tion of res­i­den­tial dwellings and com­mer­cial/in­dus­trial struc­tures,” of­fi­cials say.

While some ar­eas have es­caped high wa­ters, Reeve Lorne Hickey says res­i­dents of oth­ers are re­port­ing dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions. South of Coal­dale, he re­ports, one driver was forced to aban­don his half-ton truck af­ter it stalled as he at­tempted to cross a county road.

“It was half­way up his door,” Hickey says.

Flood­ing con­tin­ues to be lo­cal­ized, of­fi­cials re­port. County land south of Coal­dale and Leth­bridge is one of the harder-hit ar­eas, the reeve notes.

Much of it drains west, through the Wil­son Sid­ing area — where wa­ter over­flowed a sec­ondary high­way on Mon­day — and into the Old­man River through the Six Mile Coulee wa­ter­way in the city.

County crews are work­ing to mit­i­gate flood­ing and have sent pumps to some ar­eas. Hickey says about 60 of the county’s full-time em­ploy­ees may be de­ployed in that ef­fort.

“And we’re try­ing to find some rental equip­ment” to sup­ple­ment County gear.

Some cul­verts have been washed out, the reeve says.

“The drains just can’t han­dle that much wa­ter.”

If County res­i­dents have build­ings or above-ground struc­tures in dan­ger of flood­ing, they’re urged to call the County — 403-732-5333 — for help. The af­ter-hours num­ber is 403-328-5525, where call­ers can fol­low voice prompts to re­port their sit­u­a­tion.

Res­i­dents who are aware that wa­ter has im­pacted a road­way in their area and it does not have bar­ri­cades or signs are asked to call the same num­bers.

They’re asked not to use Face­book or Twit­ter to re­port pub­lic works emer­gen­cies be­cause they’re not mon­i­tored around the clock.

An up­dated list of County roads closed by flood­ing is posted on the County web­site, www.leth­county.ca.

Else­where across south­ern Al­berta, emer­gency crews were bat­tling high wa­ter in the mu­nic­i­pal dis­tricts of Taber and Wil­low Creek. Other ar­eas were less im­pacted.

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@IMarten­sHer­ald Her­ald pho­tos by Ian Martens

A sign warns mo­torists of flood­ing while a trans­port truck splashes through wa­ter over part of the in­ter­sec­tion of High­way 4 and High­way 845.

A pickup truck drives over a flooded sec­tion of road next to bins sur­rounded by wa­ter Mon­day at Wil­son Sid­ing as Leth­bridge County de­clared a state of lo­cal emer­gency due to flood­ing in low drainage ar­eas.

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