Devon declares state of emergency

The Town of Devon declared a state of emergency as a precautionary measure due to risk of flooding.
The Town of Devon has declared a local emergency and has evacuated low-lying areas alongside the North Saskatchewan River. (Lisa MacGregor/CBC)

The Town of Devon has declared a state of emergency as a precautionary measure due to risk of flooding.

Mayor Anita Fisher said 2,000 residents have been evacuated from low-lying areas along the North Saskatchewan River - including the Devon Lions campground which was busy due to several events taking place this weekend.

The North Saskatchewan River is around two to three metres higher than normal near the Devon Lions Campground, said Devon's deputy fire chief Dale Babuik. (Lisa MacGregor/CBC)

The North Saskatchewan River already rose about a half metre on Saturday alone and is expected to keep rising.

Should the waters go up another 50 centimeters, the Devon Lions campground will be underwater.

This precautionary evacuation order was put in place to avoid a potentially more chaotic situation occurring in the middle of the night, said Fisher.

The evacuation alarmed some campers, given the damage flood waters have done in the southern part of the province.  

"It's kinda scary, very scary when they pull everybody out," said Barb Lepage.

"The devastation in Calgary is unbelievable."

All river valley trails have also been closed.

Alberta Emergency Alert is advising residents to avoid the river's edge and move to higher ground.

Evacuation centres have been set up at the Devon Community Centre and Devon Public Library parking lot.

Devon is about 40 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.