The Athabasca River breached its banks causing flooding from Whitecourt to Fort Assinibine – Photo by Mike Gardiner

After a dry and smoky start to the summer, complete with an unprecedented number of wildfires and resulting evacuations across the province, areas in Alberta were subject to torrential rain last week resulting in evacuations due to flooding.

Next door to Swan Hills, Woodlands County experienced four evacuations last week due to flooding.

An evacuation alert had gone out on Tuesday for people in the Flats Road area northeast of Whitecourt along the Athabasca River as well as on Old Ferry Loop South and Cutbanks Road southwest of Whitecourt along the McLeod River, directing them to prepare for a possible one-hour evacuation. The following day, these alerts were upgraded to evacuation orders instructing everyone in the affected areas to evacuate immediately. An evacuation order was also issued for Twp Rd 620A east of Fort Assiniboine, along the Athabasca River.

On Thursday, the evacuation order for the McCleod River area was expanded to include Twp Rd 592, RR 123, and McMillan Rd, east of Hwy 32 to McLeod River, including Eagle River Wilderness.

The rivers had receded enough by Friday that the evacuation orders for the two areas on the McLeod River and the Flats Road area were lifted, and the evacuation order for the area east of Fort Assiniboine was fully lifted on Monday, June 26.

Hopefully, the remainder of the summer will have fewer surprises in store for the people of Alberta.