Slave Lake area hit by flooding

Heavy rainfall in northern Alberta has led to reports of flooding near Slave Lake, Alta. About nine people in areas outside the town voluntarily left their homes Friday as water levels continued to rise.
Flooding on Norm Peterson's acreage outside Slave Lake, Alta. started early Friday morning. (YouTube )

Heavy rainfall in northern Alberta has led to reports of flooding near Slave Lake, Alta.

About nine people in areas outside the town voluntarily left their homes Friday as water levels continued to rise.

Norm Peterson said the creek near his acreage started rising at around 4 a.m. local time, and now much of his property is under water.

"I mean we've had floods, even last week we had a big flood," Peterson said. "Not as bad as this, but close. But now, this is the worst we've ever seen and the neighbours have seen as long as they've lived here, and they've been here for generations."

A baseball diamond in Slave Lake is flooded by water. (Canadian Red Cross )
The Canadian Red Cross, which already has staff in Slave Lake to help with the aftermath of the May 15 wildfires, has more workers on standby to help people affected by flooding.

A deep low-pressure system is expected to produce between 160 and 200 millimetres of rain in the Grande Prairie region eastward to Slave Lake Friday and Saturday.

The system is the same one that produced three tornadoes in west central Alberta Thursday. People are advised to use caution if they need to travel in extreme weather conditions.

RCMP closed several highways around Slave Lake, including:

  • Highway 88 four kilometres north of the junction with Highway 2 north of Slave Lake. RCMP said motorists can use a detour in the northeast corner of the town of Slave Lake from 12th Avenue to Tamarack Road.
  • Highway 2 at the Mooney Creek bridge west of Slave Lake.

Highway 2 east and west of Slave Lake was re-opened Friday afternoon.

The Klondyke Ferry, which carries traffic on Highway 661 across the Athabasca River east of Fort Assiniboine, was also shut down.

Highway 33 north of Swan Hills was closed from the Highway 32 junction to the junction with Highway 2 near Kinuso but it was reopened to single lane traffic only on Friday evening.

RCMP said vehicles would be escorted through the15-kilometre section of highway because of ongoing road maintenance.

Rain Friday morning was heaviest through the Slave Lake, Barrhead and Whitecourt regions with reports of up to 80 mm at the Slave Lake airport. 

Flood watches have been issued for rivers in northern Alberta due to the rainfall.

"We are advising that residents in the area are aware of any advisories that may be in their area and take any necessary precautions such as being careful around the rivers and doing whatever it is needed to protect their homes in the case of any floodwaters," said Alberta Environment spokesperson Cara Tobin.

People living in southern parts of Peace Country in northeastern B.C. have been told to prepare to leave their homes if rivers keep rising.