High River business owners can return Monday

Business owners in High River's central commercial district will be allowed back on Monday.

Access will be located at Highway 23 overpass near John Deere

Residents returning to High River have been facing long lines. (Erin Collins/CBC)

Business owners in High River's central commercial district will be allowed back on Monday.

Those with businesses located from the centre of town to Highway 2 to the east will be able to enter the community at the Highway 23 overpass near John Deere. Upon re-entry, business owners will receive information on the status and condition of their businesses.

Occupational Health and Safety and Workplace Safety regulations will apply to all businesses.

The provincial state of emergency remains in effect.

Also on Monday, residents of southwest High River will be the second group of homeowners allowed to return to their homes.

High River residents living in the northwest began returning to their homes Saturday. About 1,500 residences have been re-occupied so far. Roughly 300 remain to be occupied.

The communities being allowed to return include residences in the following:

  • Beachwood Estates
  • McLaughlin Meadows
  • Old Rodeo Grounds
  • Downtown, and
  • The golf course

More re-entries planned

The centre of town will re-open to residents on Wednesday at noon. The Welcome Centre at the Rodeo Grounds will continue to serve as the access points for residents returning to the community.

The east end of High River remains closed to residents. Crews are working to pump roughly 40,000 gallons of water per minute from the area. There is no timeline at this point for when the area will be opened.

Boil water advisory still in effect

While a boil water advisory is in effect, residents have had water and sewage systems restored.

Water should still be brought to a rolling boil for one minute prior to consumption, brushing teeth, washing raw food and making ice.

Officials are also working to reconnect power for residents. More than 700 residences had power restored yesterday and over 500 were reconnected with natural gas services.

Hospital still closed

The High River Hospital remains closed.

Contractors are working to clear the parking lot and a cleaning crew of 40 began to clean the inside of the hospital on Sunday. Repairs will be needed before the building can re-open to the public.

There are currently eight mental health workers, three EMS teams and two community paramedics in High River. They are based at the welcome and reception centres as well as the fire hall.

The nearest emergency room and urgent care centres are:

  • Okotoks Urgent Care Centre — 11 Cimarron Common, Okotoks
  • Oilfields General Hospital — 717 Government Road, Black Diamond
  • South Health Campus — 4448 Front Street, Calgary

Anyone having a medical emergency is advised to call 911.