Severe flooding hits Grande Prairie after summer storm blasts region

Vehicles were submerged and people could be seen floating through the streets of Grande Prairie, Alta., on an air mattress Tuesday night as severe flooding hit the northwestern Alberta city.

Vehicles submerged, people spotted 'floating down the road on an air mattress' in northwestern Alberta city

A storm caused severe flooding in parts of Grande Prairie on Tuesday evening. (Facebook/Nicole Pollard)

Severe flooding led to an emergency alert being issued for Grande Prairie, Alta., for a part of Tuesday evening.

A high level water alert was issued but later cancelled, and the city activated its emergency operations centre for a short time but then de-activated it as the waters began to recede. The flooding was caused by a summer storm that swept through the region. 

The city's transit buses were pulled off the road for a time as roads filled with water.

Emergency crews received "numerous calls" related to flooding, according to the emergency alert.

Resident Nicole Pollard said the flooding happened "within a few seconds" after the rain started coming down at around 6 p.m.

She was about to leave home when the rain started. When she went to move her vehicle, she had to get four people to help her push it to higher ground as water pooled up to the exhaust pipe.

"Everything was covered. The lawns were completely submerged and vehicles were barely making it through the streets," Pollard said. "There were also people making light of it, floating down the road on an air mattress."

Pollard, who has lived in Grande Prairie for 10 years, said she's never seen anything like it.

At around 10 p.m., she said the water remained high in her neighbourhood.

"It has never been this crazy, this is the worst I've ever seen."

Grande Prairie residents are urged to be cautious when approaching areas that are flooded, and should avoid driving through flooded roads.

Residents should also be cautious around storm ponds, low-lying areas, manhole covers and storm drains. 

Grande Prairie is about 460 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. 

With files from Canadian Press