County of Forty Mile flooding moving closer to homes

By Brittney Matejka
April 16, 2018 - 5:30pm Updated: April 17, 2018 - 11:29am


COUNTY OF FORTY MILE – The Local Authority of the County of Forty Mile No. 8 has declared a State of Local Emergency due to the overland flooding closing roadways and affecting locations throughout the County.

During this time, the County of Forty Mile may take any action it deems necessary to deal with the situation.

County resident Gerald Reimer has been busy watching backhoes pull chunks of ice form the irrigation canals across the road from his home near the Forty Mile Reservoir. Reimer said last night the canals overflowed across the road and near his farmyard.

"We were worried, " he said. "We had a person up all night, watching the water levels to make sure that if they did get close to the house, we had time to get out."

Reimer said crews have been working almost around the clock to try and get the water moving.

"Ice blockage is a big problem," he said. "Where they have the ice cleaned out the water is flowing nicely, at a much lower level than where it's blocked by the ice."

Terrance Lazarus, the general manager of St. Mary River Irrigation District said they have 20 backhoes working at pulling chunks of ice out of the backlogged canal.

"What we're doing to help is getting the canals flowing," he said. "Restoring a tremendous amount of water in the reservoir. Forty mile is almost full."

Lazarus said once the gate into the Forty Mile Reservoir is closed, the canals that bypass Forty Mile will take the excess water to the Sauder Reservoir, and water levels should be back to normal by next week.

Other residents in the County are also worried about their homes. Scott Heck is the road maintenance foreman with the County of Forty Mile, he said residents need to speak to the county before digging any trenches through roadways to move water.

"We won't do it unless there is an actual residence that's going to be at stake," he said.

The County of Forty Mile said no residents have been evacuated at this time

One home evacuated due to overland flooding in County of 40 Mile