A change in season is bringing with it danger to an Alberta town. On Sunday, April 26, Fort McMurray began to see rising water levels. As the flood worsens, a large number of people are being forced to evacuate. At this time, 12,000 people have been evacuated from the Fort McMurray flood. Photo evidence of the flooding shows water levels to be well above car doors.
On Sunday, April 26, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo declared a secondary state of emergency due to high water levels along the Athabasca, Snye, and Clearwater Rivers.
At the time, all residents were advised to stay away from shorelines and riverbanks.
Now, an online post written by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) notes an expanded mandatory evacuation order has been issued for the entire Lower Townsite of Fort McMurray except for the North Lights Regional Health Centre and Grayling Terrace.
This evacuation is due to the flooding of the Athabasca River.
Melting ice jams worsed overnight on Sunday, April 26, which prompted a round of evacuations. Tons of photos and videos of the flooding have been posted online showing water in some areas to be above car doors.
One person was even allegedly rescued from the roof of their car by two Good Samaritans.
Due to the dangerous situation, Mayor Don Scott asked that military assistance be given.
Premier Jason Kenney stepped in and on the morning of Tuesday, April 28, tweeted out that water levels stabilized and 12,000 evacuees have been registered.
Kenney noted that tiger dams and sandbag stocks were deployed. Additional personal was also sent to help aid in the situation.
“Am confident that @RMWoodBuffalo will qualify for Disaster Recovery Program funding.”
An online post by RMWD reads that all members of the public in the areas under the mandatory evacuation must leave immediately.
“Anyone remaining in high-risk areas, travelling downtown to observe flooding or for other non-essential purposes, are putting themselves, first responders and others at risk of a serious incident,” explains the statement.
Mayor Scott posted a video on his Facebook page thanking all first responders for doing their due diligence.
During that video, Scott explained that he and Kenney took a flight over the downtown region in order for the premier to see the extent of the damage.
The duo spoke about what needed to be done as well as what the financial repercussions would look like.
At this point, Scott stated that they will be doing an ongoing evaluation to see what assistance is needed moving forward.
During the evacuation, members of the public are being encouraged to continue to implement social distancing and other COVID-19 preventive measures.