400 people ordered to leave homes in Fort McMurray, Alberta due to flooding
Friday, June 14, 2013, 7:38 AM -
More people were ordered out of their homes in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Thursday due to flooding.
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo told 340 residents in Grayling Terrace and another 78 in the Draper Road area to pack their belongings and leave.
Officials said heavy rainfall was expected through the next couple of days and erosion of the banks of the overflowing Hangingstone River poses a danger to residents.
Some evacuees weren't sure where they would sleep Thursday night as they lined up at an emergency reception area.
Resident Ioana Lucacio said the situation was stressful.
"But it is what it is," Lucacio said. "There's nothing you can do. You can't have any control over a potential natural disaster. Hopefully it's not going to happen."
RCMP Supt. Bob Couture said 35 members were knocking on doors to impose the evacuations, while another 20 officers were regulating the surrounding area and directing traffic.
"These situations are complex," said Couture. "People are out there now, doing that door-to-door, talking. It takes us some time to do that. In most cases, what we're seeing, people in our city, in our region, have been absolutely fantastic in complying with the requirements."
Terry Gillingham was already packed up when police came knocking. They told him earlier this week he might want to get his things ready in case the situation got worse.
Gillingham registered at the reception centre and then turned in his cat to the SPCA temporarily.
He said it was an easy evacuation at his home.
"We're not like overly happy that this happened for sure," said Gillingham. "We are concerned that something could get worse but sort of optimistic with it. I think this is a precaution thing that they're doing because there is the potential for something to happen so this is the right thing."
Eva Manengyao said she wasn't concerned about her property as long as she and her husband were safe.
"We don't know yet," she said when asked where she would go. "We're trying to call one of our rectors at the church and one of our elders at the church offered us a place to stay. So, we'll see."
"Public safety is of the utmost concern at this point in time," the RM said on its website.
"Emergency services personnel have made the decisions to evacuate based on the safety and security of residents."
A local state of emergency remains in effect for the area.
Sixty-nine homes in the Ptarmigan Court Trailer Park were ordered out several days ago.
Boil water advisories were in place for two days, but on Thursday afternoon, they were lifted for the Waterways area.