The province continues to respond
to flooding in Fort McMurray and Mackenzie County. States of local emergency
remain in effect in both communities.
Flooding, due to ice jams on the Athabasca and
Clearwater Rivers in Fort McMurray and the Peace River in Mackenzie
County, have led to evacuation orders for some residents of Fort McMurray,
Fort Vermilion and Tallcree First Nation at Beaver Ranch.
Fort McKay First Nation has activated their emergency
management committee, although there is no flooding in the community at
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo issued a
mandatory evacuation order for the entire community of Draper, Longboat
Landing, Waterways, Ptarmigan Trailer Park and the Taiga Nova
Eco-Industrial Park, and the entire lower townsite of Fort McMurray, except
for the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre and Grayling Terrace.
Access to the lower townsite is closed.
Significant resources are being dedicated to berming
and sandbagging the area surrounding the Northern Lights Regional Health
Centre to mitigate flood risk. There is no threat to this area at this
Mackenzie County has issued a mandatory evacuation
order for residents within the Hamlet of Fort Vermilion who reside east of
50th Street, north of the golf course, River Road, and Boreal Housing and
all of North Vermilion (Buttertown).
Tallcree First Nation at Beaver Ranch is impacted by
flooding and is being evacuated at this time.
Flooding is also expected in Little Red River Cree
Nation. An evacuation alert was issued April 27.
As of April 27 at 10 p.m.:
More than 13,000 people from Fort McMurray were
evacuated to hotels, work camp facilities and private accommodations.
About 446 people were evacuated from Fort Vermilion to
hotels in High Level and private accommodations.
Three people from the Tall Cree First Nation have been
evacuated to a local hotel.
In Fort McMurray, registration centres have been
established at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre and the Casman Centre.
Drive-through registration is offered to support physical distancing
guidelines, however the municipality is asking evacuees to go only if they
require accommodation or immediate support.
Members of the public who are not already
registered can report to the Casman Centre, at
110 Eymundson Rd., to register as evacuees.
In Mackenzie County, residents should register by
Tallcree First Nation members are in direct contact
with the Tribal Government.
Highway 63 remains open at this time.
Highway 88, northwest of Fort Vermilion, is closed to
traffic due to flooding of the Peace River. Residents south of the Peace
River can use Highway 88 to travel south. Residents north of the Peace
River can use Highway 58 to travel west and then Highway 35 to travel
Fort McMurray’s wastewater treatment plant has been
evacuated, as the access road is flooded. It remains operational and is
being monitored and operated remotely.
Due to reports of discoloration in tap water, Fort
McMurray and Alberta Health Services have issued a boil water advisory for
all of Fort McMurray and rural hamlets of Anzac, Draper, Gregoire Lake
Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation 46, and Saprae Creek Estates.
The Peace River flood has caused a disruption in the
water supply for the Hamlet of Fort Vermilion.
The raw and treated water truck fill station in the
Hamlet of La Crete and the Buffalo Head Prairie truck fill station are
closed until further notice. Water is currently being hauled from
the La Crete distribution line in order to meet water demands within the
Hamlet of Fort Vermilion.
Water usage is restricted to essential use only. The
Fort Vermilion water treatment plant truck fill station is inaccessible,
as it is located within the mandatory evacuation area.
The Fort Vermilion rural truck fill is now closed
until further notice, as the water treatment plant has been compromised by
A boil water advisory has not been issued for Fort
Vermillion at this time but will be issued if conservation of drinking
water and essential use is not practiced.
River conditions –
Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers
The ice jam on the Athabasca River is approximately
24 kilometres long. The ice jam stretches from kilometre 281, just
upstream of Willow Island, to kilometre 305, which is by Mountain Rapids.
The ice jam has caused a rise in water levels of
between 4.5 and six metres on the Athabasca River. Athabasca water levels
have held steady since Sunday evening.
Clearwater River water levels have increased up to
three-quarters of a metre since Sunday evening.
The ice jam had darkened yesterday significantly,
indicating that melting is taking place.
River conditions –
The breaking ice front has reached Fort Vermilion and
is continuing to move through town. The ice front is in place between
Beaver Ranch and the downstream end of Fort Vermilion, causing flooding in
The ice is still moving in Fort Vermilion. When last
observed in the early morning of April 27, the total length of the ice jam
and advancing ice was approximately 38 kilometres.
Albertans who live in affected areas should look for updates
from their local government regarding evacuations and closures and download the
Alberta Emergency Alert app. For the latest information on river conditions,
visit rivers.alberta.ca or download the Alberta Rivers app.