Whitecourt dealing with aftermath of high water levels

On Friday, Whitecourt declared a state of local emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation for about 30 residents from an RV campground following rising water levels.

Local emergency, evacuation order issued on Friday

The Sagitawah RV Park was issued an emergency evacuation order on Friday. (Town of Whitecourt)

Whitecourt, Alta. has declared a state of local emergency following rising water levels on the Athabasca River.

On Friday, the municipality declared the emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation for about 30 residents from an RV campground.

"Our golf course has been totally flooded, it's underwater," said Coun. Derek Schlosser, the town's deputy mayor.

A Saturday evening update from the town said the evacuation order would remain in place and be re-evaluated on Monday. It urged residents to be extremely cautious around rivers and noted that several parks and trails were closed.

The north end of the 47 Street/Millar Road was also closed. The town will need to ensure it has not degraded before reopening, Schlosser said.

Schlosser said residents of Sagitawah RV Park have dispersed their vehicles to other sites around the town and the campground will need to get a clean bill of health from the province for its sewage system before reopening.

Heavy rainfall last week saw water levels peak early Saturday morning, he said.

"The water levels were higher than they've been since 1972," Schlosser said. "So it's the real deal."

Water has since receded but parts of the McLeod River and Athabasca River near Whitecourt were still under flood watch.

Whitecourt is around 180 kilometres northwest of Edmonton .

In northern Alberta, the hamlet of Watino was also issued an evacuation order for about 50 residents because of rising water levels in the Smoky River.

That order was rescinded as of Saturday night, according to a post on the Birch Hills County website.