More snow expected for Taber, as floods leave town under state of emergency

The Town of Taber remains under a state of emergency, as workers rush to keep overland flood water from overwhelming the town's water treatment plant and nearby homes.

Workers are clearing drainage ditches near the water treatment plant

Overland flooding has threatened Taber's water treatment facility. (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

The Town of Taber remains under a state of emergency, as workers rush to keep overland flood water from overwhelming the town's water treatment plant and nearby homes.

Cory Armfelt, the chief administrative officer for the southern Alberta community, said warm weather over the last few days prompted the state of emergency as melt water started encroaching on the plant. 

"It's warm again today, warmer than expected so we've got a pump going to take water into our sanitary sewer which takes that water away which is located around this building," Armfelt said.

"We've received probably three or four times the amount of snow than usually happens throughout the winter."

Dan Pierson, one of the town's water operators, said crews are dealing with an extra two-million litres of water a day from the melting snow.

Cory Armfelt is the chief administrative officer with the Town of Taber. (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

Crews were digging out ditches and blowing out culverts to allow the water to take its natural course.

Armfelt said the state of emergency allows crews to access residential properties without the landowner's permission in order to mitigate any damage. 

"I would not say these homes are at risk at all because of what we've done at this point ... it's definitely a concern for residents on the south side of Taber and we're taking actions to make sure that's mitigated and protecting our water treatment plant," he said.

Residents living near the water treatment facility don't need to take extra protective measures, like sandbagging, because they're at a higher elevation than where the pumping is taking place, Armfelt said.

Crews have been working to keep flood waters from Taber's water treatment plant. (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

But, residents are being encouraged to check drainage on their property to make sure drains are clear. 

More snow is expected for Taber this weekend, along with colder temperatures. 

On Thursday afternoon, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for the town. The region is expected to see up to 10 centimetres of snow, paired with northerly winds gusting at around 60 km/h.

As the system blows through, Arctic high pressure will move into the province which is expected to make for what the agency described as "an unseasonably cold Easter long weekend."

Premier Rachel Notley said the provincial government is keeping in contact with those on the ground.

"Our government is coordinating with them right now to make sure any additional supports they require we're able to provide," she said.

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said her team is working with officials to see if either the M.D. or the town is eligible for disaster relief assistance. 

With files from Lucie Edwardson