Overland flooding reported in Claresholm, Alberta
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 1:59 -
A day short of the one-year anniversary of the historic Alberta floods, the community of Claresholm, Alta. is in the midst of a flood emergency.
Damages are expected to be widespread.
An alert released by the town at 11:41 a.m. local time reports there is a 'large amount' of water travelling across the land, leading to localized flooding.
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"Rain continues and more heavy rain is expected," the statement reads, adding that the local emergency declaration remains in effect.
Residents are being instructed to avoid 43rd Avenue West from 3rd Street to 8th Street West in Claresholm.
According to Environment Canada, additional rainfall amounts up to 70 millimetres are expected in the southwestern foothills by Thursday morning.
By that time, some communities may have seen 200 mm of rain accumulate.
Several states of emergency are in effect in southern Alberta including in Lethbridge County (the City of Lethbridge is not under a a state of emergency at present), the Municipal District of Willow Creek, Crowsnest Pass, Claresholm and Medicine Hat.
REMEMBERING THE 2013 FLOODS
Starting on June 19, 2013, heavy rainfall in Alberta triggered one of the worst natural disasters in Canadian history.
The historic flooding prompted 32 states of emergency declarations across the province as the flows of three major rivers rose to almost 10 times their normal rates.
It is considered the costliest disaster in Canadian history with an estimated $5 billion in damage.
WILL THIS YEAR'S WEATHER EVENT COMPARE?
"Once you get into triple-digit rainfall forecasts over a three-day period, localized flooding becomes a real possibility," says Brett Soderholm, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
"That said, Alberta has learned a lot since the 2013 floods and has contingency plans in place."
Authorities are advising residents to be on high alert until the storm dissipates Thursday.