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Emergency alert: Alberta warm-up increases risk of overland flooding

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 8:59 AM -

Warming and above seasonal temperatures in mid-March are typically welcomed with open arms in western Canada.

As parts of the region warms up this week however, there could be some overland flooding.

According to Alberta Environment, the areas of primary concern are south of Peace River and Fort McMurray.

"Significant runoff is expected due to snowmelt," said Alberta Environment in an emergency alert on Monday. "This may cause localized overland flooding as the water makes its way into streams. Stream levels will rise due to the runoff and may also cause flooding."

The advisory says the cool spring conditions combined with heavy snowfall this winter has resulted in an above average snowpack in central, southern and peace regions of the province. 

RELATED: Recent heavy rain, warm temperatures prompt flood concerns in parts of B.C. .

Now, the rising temperatures this week could result in a rapid melt.

Derek Melmoth, director of Drainage Operations with the City of Edmonton says drainage systems are "performing really well." He says the quickest way for homeowners to get rid of large puddles in residential areas is to pick away at the ice yourself.

"Get out and pick a little bit and open up your drain, and get the little channel established," Melmoth says. "That’s one of the best things. Once water gets running towards those catch basin locations it carves a channel really quite quickly."

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