13 April 2011
Medicine Hat Under State of Emergency
The city of Medicine Hat, Alberta. is under a voluntary evacuation alert today following a state of emergency declaration Tuesday evening. Rising water levels in the Seven Persons reservoir threaten to breach a critical dam. Some homes were under a mandatory evacuation order while others were within the voluntary evacuation area. Many homeowners didn't evacuate however, not wanting to leave their homes stating a desire to protect their property.
Though an emergency centre was set up in the Grand Ballroom at the city's Stampede Grandstand, noone chose to spend the night there, according to reporters in the area. After a winter with double the typical seasonal snowfall for the area, water in creeks and rivers across southern Alberta have been close to critical levels in the past week, driven by melt run-off.
The critical phase has not yet been reached with the increased potential for property damage including sewer backup. Some homes have already seen water at their doorsteps.
2010 saw extensive flood damage due to elevated levels in the creek which eroded creek banks and caused over $50 million in damage. The province of Alberta has allotted more than $1 million for emergency flood measures.