Flood evacuation order lifted in Alberta town

A mandatory evacuation has been lifted for residents in the soggy southern Alberta town of High River.

A mandatory evacuation has been lifted for residents in the soggy southern Alberta town of High River.

The community issued the good news Friday night as Alberta Environment officials said the Highwood River was peaking.

Emergency Operations deputy director Ross Shapka said in a news release there is still a considerable amount of water in the area and families returning should do so with extreme caution.

"River levels are indicating a stable and moderate recession but we are still on high alert," Shapka said.

"If any evacuees are in need of accommodation, we are asking that they contact the Emergency Operations Centre and we’ll reinstate the reception centre."

Families returning to their homes will be asked to show valid identification with a valid residential address to Mounties at checkpoints into the area.]

Deluge caused river to overflow

The town ordered the evacuation of 80 homes in the Wallaceville subdivision early Friday after more than 65 millimetres of precipitation caused the river to overflow its banks.

The Wallaceville neighbourhood, which is the lowest point in the community of 11,000, was also flooded in 2008 and in 2005, when a one-in-100 year flood hit much of southern Alberta.

That year, High River suffered millions of dollars in damage from the river spilling its banks and more than 700 residents had to leave their homes.

Also Friday, a family near Millarville east of Calgary needed rescuing when their vehicle became trapped on a submerged road.

The family thought there was only a few inches of water on the road, but it was more than a metre deep and Calgary emergency responders had to rescue them in rubber boats.

The rising waters also prompted the Alberta government to close parts of Red Lodge and Wyndham-Carseland provincial parks.

Since Wednesday, 60 to 90 mm of precipitation has fallen in an area along the eastern slopes west of Calgary and Lethbridge, and another 10 to 20 mm was forecast for the region on Saturday, said Alberta Environment's River Forecast Centre.

Flood warnings have been issued for Little Red Deer River and Bow River at Hidden Valley.