Rapid spring melt causes flooding in Strathcona County

The manager of transportation infrastructure says the spring melt happens every year, but this year, it’s different.

Fast and dramatic temperature changes are to blame for the flooding

A field near Highway 830 and Old Victoria Trail looked more like a lake than farmland on Sunday. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

Rapid temperature changes caused flooding in rural areas of Strathcona County over the weekend.

The county's manager of transportation infrastructure, Ryan Wilson, said the spring melt happens every year, but this year, it's different.

"This year's a little bit special in that we see it just happening so quick," he said. "Normally we have a couple melting events and freezing at night, and it's a little bit more gradual."

Wilson said water levels started to rise on Friday, with melting happening quickly due to high temperatures and rain on Saturday.

Rural ditches and the creek network in Strathcona County are starting to fill with water, and some minor roads have been closed, but are expected to re-open on Monday.

Some low-traffic roads were closed due to flooding on Sunday. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

So far, crews haven't heard any reports of flooding causing major issues in rural homes.

Wilson said homeowners need to be vigilant in protecting their property by clearing their drainage courses of debris and ensuring sump pumps are active. Residents should also keep an eye out for water levels rising along road edges and ditches.

"Don't hesitate to call the county," he said. "We're quite active, we have crews on 24 hours a day now and [are] prepared to focus on those high-risk locations."

Wilson said crews have been active in the rural north areas of the county, steaming culverts and focusing on flooding over roadways and threats to private property.

Wilson said people should be careful around the water.

"The water is moving at quite a fast pace," he said. "So just make sure to keep a safe distance, look after pets and children just to keep them away from quick moving streams or ditches."