Alberta Mirror

Monday, December 4, 2023

Severe rain and snowmelt make a ‘perfect storm’ for flooding in northern Alberta

Alberta

Key takeaways: 

  • As of Tuesday morning, nearly 676 evacuees have been recorded in High Level.
  • An estimated 1,100 individuals left the district on the Dene Tha’ First Nation over the weekend as water in the Sousa Creek Basin and surrounding waterways rose. 

As increasing floodwaters forced his family to escape their house community of Chateh in northern Alberta, Robby Didzena stayed behind. 

The 19-year-old high school student was among many residents who remained in the remote northern Alberta community through the weekend to save local houses from damage.

Chateh is approximately 850 kilometers northwest of Edmonton.

He and other volunteers went quads and small boats to places hardest struck by the rising waters. 

Fighting the currents often proved impossible, Didzena said.  

“It was just too hectic to get to the most difficult places because the water pressure was too strong,” he said. 

“The current was pushing us as far as it could.”

Read more: Kane nets hat trick to allow Oilers to take a commanding victory 

Water levels continue to fluctuate, society members are now dispersed in hotel rooms, and evacuation centers across the province anxiously watch the prediction

An estimated 1,100 people left the community on the Dene Tha’ First Nation over the weekend as water in the Sousa Creek Basin and surrounding waterways continued to rise.

Compulsory evacuation orders were given Sunday. 

Water levels continue to fluctuate, society members are now dispersed in hotel rooms, and evacuation centers across the province anxiously watch the prediction. 

Overland flooding, driven by heavy rain and snowmelt, has boosted the flood hazard in a handful of communities across northwestern Alberta. 

‘We are losing our houses’

By Saturday morning, the case in Chateh was rapidly declining, said Didzena.

His family had fled the night before, entering a line of cars headed to High Level.

“I allowed my mother and brothers to go before me because I didn’t want to leave my neighborhood empty-handed.”¬†

Source – cbc.ca

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