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Canada More than a dozen residents evacuated due to flooding in MD of Taber

23:06  15 april  2018
23:06  15 april  2018 Source:   calgaryherald.com

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Thirteen residents have been evacuated as the Municipal District of Taber continues to deal with “once in a lifetime” flooding.

Highways 864 and 36 were reopened Sunday morning after overland flooding caused their closure on Saturday, however it’s unclear if those roads would remain open throughout the day due to further snowmelt that’s anticipated.

Crews are monitoring the situation and would close the roads again if necessary, RCMP said in a statement.

“We have flooding generally throughout the MD of Taber,” said Derrick Krizsan, municipal administrator for the district. “We expect as daytime temperatures increase, so will snowmelt. We expect to find ourselves in a similar situation that we were in (Saturday) afternoon with respect to overland flooding.”

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An emergency alert was issued Saturday afternoon to notify residents of hazardous driving conditions. Krizsan said a further update would be available Sunday following the next emergency operation centre briefing at 6 p.m.

Despite the number of evacuations, no mandatory evacuation order is in effect. The local fire service, community peace officers, as well as RCMP officers were out performing wellness checks to ensure the safety of Taber residents on Sunday.

Residents unable to get to town, as well as those sick or requiring extra assistance, should contact the municipality, said Krizsan.

“We are conducting operations at this time to mitigate flooding around residences and taking measures to protect life with respect to ensuring that roads that are flooded are barricaded and are not being travelled upon,” he said.

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Some residents required assistance from firefighters to leave their properties. “The melt was more than we can handle,” deputy Reeve Merrill Harris said. Watch below: The MD of Taber provided this rescue footage showing firefighters evacuating six people from 12 homes Tuesday night.

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The Town of Taber itself is in the clear after a state of local emergency remained in effect as of Tuesday.

“We’re in a good spot from the town perspective. We’re out of the woods but certainly not the same for residents and businesses and infrastructure in the MD,” said Cory Armfelt, the town’s chief administrative officer and director of emergency management.

“The last few days, the band-aid got ripped off awfully quickly there Friday, Saturday and the rush of water that came through went where we wanted it to go,” he said.

But flooding north of the town remains an issue.

“Every area has been impacted,” said Krizsan. “What we saw (Saturday) was a generalized melting across the entire municipality. As we move into typical springtime weather, that 15 degree weather and the sun’s radiance affects the MD of Taber equally.”

Residents should take extra care if driving, especially in areas on the road where water might be flowing despite remaining open.

He said the level of flooding seen this spring throughout the region has been a rarity.

“For thousands of years we’ve had water flowing and this is one of those years, kind of a once in a lifetime thing where you see water flowing where nobody’s ever seen water flowing there before,” Krizsan said. “Certainly this is a unique event and certainly one that we’ll remember for some time.”

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