High water causes washouts, evacuation alert
Heavy rains and high water prompted evacuation alerts west of Sundre and washed out sections of two range roads in Water Valley last Wednesday, causing added delays for traffic already impeded by the loss of Big Prairie Bridge.
At press time Friday, only Rge. Rd. 52 remained closed. On Wednesday, high water pounded the temporary bridge on the range road, loosening its concrete moorings and forcing its owner, Rick Martin Trucking, to remove the structure from the site.
The Water Valley Campground was also closed Wednesday and remained closed at press time.
At about 5 p.m. Wednesday, the county issued an evacuation alert for residents of the South McDougall Flats area along the north bank of the Red Deer River due to the state of access roads and the potential for rising water. An emergency reception centre was set up at Olds College but was closed after only one resident showed up. The evacuation alert was lifted Thursday.
The high waters were a test for Mountain View County’s partial berm along the Red Deer River and Reeve Bruce Beattie said the early verdict is “that the structures served us well.”
Div. 6 Coun. Paddy Munro, who pushed for the berms to be in place before last winter, said while the partial berm and “quad trail” have stopped a great deal of debris from flowing east, the flood risk is still present.
“We should have spent the money,” Munro said.
The county spent about $200,000 on the structures but the total cost of a protective berm system is about $2.6 million.
In Red Deer County, Red Lodge Provincial Park was closed due to high water but officials said no other trouble spots were reported.