TABER – The local state of emergency remained in effect indefinitely as of Monday, March 26 for the Municipal District of Taber, while crews worked to clear drainage channels of snow and ice.
The declaration was issued by the municipal council the night of March 23, for the entire area of the M.D. south of the Oldman River. At that time the area most being affected by overland flooding was along Highway 3, south to Township Road 9-0, between Range Roads 16-3 and 17-3.
Administrator Derrick Krizsan explained snow and ice were causing dams in the drainage channels, and the meltwater has nowhere to go when that happens.
“We are aware that a number of individuals have had some damage to some property, the total extent of which, we’re not aware of,” Krizsan said. A number of gravel roads were very muddy, but no washouts were reported. Drivers in the M.D. may see some barricades.
The municipality has also been pumping water away from homes. The emphasis has been on protecting residential property, irrigation, and municipal infrastructure.
Krizsan said it’s early, and the big melt has only started. Heavy snow wasn’t the only problem from winter; the ground remains frozen after unusually cold winter temperatures, and the soil can’t absorb meltwater.
“The extent of the flooding will depend on Mother Nature, and how hot it gets over the next week to 10 days,” he said, while also hoping it doesn’t get too cold. “The last thing we need right now is water freezing in culverts and in drainage channels, so cooler temperatures, and reasonable daytime highs would help us.”
Krizsan urges people to be patient and allow the water to flow. While landowners are encouraged to take steps to protect their homes, they’re being asked not to make things worse for their neighbours by excavating or pumping.
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