RMWB Reminding Residents To Be Prepared As River Breakup Approaches

The municipality is preparing for ice to break on the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers.

Around this time each year, residents in the Lower Townsite, Waterways, and Draper are reminded to prepare for potential flooding in their neighbourhoods.

Chris Graham, Assistant Deputy Chief of Emergency Management with the RMWB, tells Mix News after the ice breaks, there’s a possibility it can jam.

He says the real concern is if this happens north of the Athabasca bridge.

“When that jam occurs after the bridge, especially after where Athabasca and Clearwater link together, that’s the area where we really get concerned and that’s the point in which we can get lots of flooding.”

Once there’s no longer a threat of ice jams, the municipality will declare river breakup. On average, this happens around April 19.

In the meantime, residents are being encouraged to have a 72-hour emergency kit and evacuation route prepared.

“The trick now is preparedness on the part of the population in those areas, in particular, so know the hazard, make a plan, have a kit,” added Graham.

You’re being asked to avoid the river banks and instead watch the breakup, when it happens, on the RMWB’s website.

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