County of Forty Mile experiencing flooding with warmer temperatures

By Brittney Matejka
April 15, 2018 - 10:32am Updated: April 15, 2018 - 8:23pm

COUNTY OF FORTY MILE – Overland flooding has caused a number of road closures within the County of Forty Mile, more road closures could be coming later in the day with the snow melt.

Township Road 104 between Range Road 120 and Range Road 115 has been closed due to flooding, other roads in the County may also be closed depending on the rise and fall of the flood waters.

Drivers are advised to be cautious in the area. 

The drainage canal near Forty Mile Reservoir has extremely high water levels due to ice build up at bridges. County of Forty Mile councillor Gerald Reimer said normal spring run off is not a problem for the canals to handle.

“The problem was with all the cold weather we had, it caused way more ice,” he said. “Now this ice is what we are dealing with now.”

The County of Forty Mile has had eight backhoes working through the night since Saturday to try and break up the ice build up in the canal.

``The biggest problem is if we have a breech in the canal,`` he said. ``We don't know what is going to happen.``

Reimer worries about farmyards located close to the canal if the water does flood over the top. He said the spring of 2011 and 1978 both saw high flood waters, but not near as high as this in the area.

``We don't have a timeline,`` he said. ``Depends what the weather does, supposed to be cooler the next couple days.``

Reimer said the County of Forty Mile will see more run off moving through the area in the next few days as there is more snow to the south to melt and from the M.D. of Taber.

There is not an evacuation order in place for residents, Reimer said the County of Forty Mile website will be updated with information as it becomes available.

The next concern of the County is the rising water in Forty Mile Reservoir, Reimer said it rose half a metre last night with the recent runoff and they are being cautious.

``They're draining a little bit from Forty Mile now,`` he said. ``They have a drain at the south end, but that can cause a problem with down stream water going toward Medicine Hat.``

Reimer said Forty Mile Reservoir can rise up to one metre above the Full Service Line (FSL) and still be maintained at a safe level. Crews are monitoring the water levels.

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