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Flood danger lessens in southern Alberta


A picture of the recent flooding in High River, Alberta.
A picture of the recent flooding in High River, Alberta.

Jill Colton, staff writer

May 28, 2011 — A mandatory evacuation order in the waterlogged southern Alberta town of High River has been lifted, as the swollen Highwood River appears to have peaked.

Calgary's waterlogged week
Calgary's waterlogged week

However, officials are maintaining a cautious optimism.

“There is still a considerable amount of water in the area,” Emergency Operations Deputy Director Ross Shapka said in a news release Friday. “We are asking that families returning to the area do so with extreme caution.”

Residents of about 80 homes were ordered to leave earlier this week as the rising Highwood threatened their subdivision.

People in High River are now being asked to limit their water use, as the town's water treatment facilities are operating near maximum capacity due to the heavy rain.

For some people, this week's flooding has been a nightmare. Calgary emergency responders rescued a family near Millarville when their vehicle became submerged.

Three adults and an infant were saved from the rushing waters. Initially, the driver of the vehicle thought there was only a few inches of water but soon found it was more than a metre deep.

The City of Calgary has seen more rain in the past week than it usually receives in the entire month of May.

High water levels have caused thousands of road closures throughout the Prairies.
High water levels have caused thousands of road closures throughout the Prairies.

Southern Alberta is prone to spring and summer flooding. In 2005, floods caused millions of dollars of damage across the region and forced thousands of people to evacuate.

2011 has been a bad year for flooding across the Prairies. Southern Manitoba residents were affected by a controlled flood on the Assiniboine River earlier this month.

Farmers in Saskatchewan have had a difficult time seeding fields because of the water-logged soil.

And even residents in southern and southeastern British Columbia are now dealing with high water levels

For the latest flood details in your area, head to the Alberta Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV. The local forecast comes up at the top and bottom of each hour.

With files from The Canadian Press and Alexandra Pope

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