RMWB providing free sandbag materials ahead of spring thaw

As Fort McMurray sees a temporary break from its above average snowfall, the spring thaw of April/May is right around the corner.

Mayor Sandy Bowman said in an interview on Wednesday that residents can rest assured that the melting of the snow isn’t going to cause another flood.

It was in April of 2020, that an ice jam on the Athabasca River caused severe flooding in downtown Fort McMurray.

“Just to rest people’s minds during this time because May has always been a touchy month with the fires and floods in the last six years. Alberta Environment monitors the rivers constantly to see where it is and the RMWB does comprehensive river break up reports and are preparing for it now so we will be ready come this spring,” Bowman stated.

He also noted that temporary flood barriers are in place and that by 2024 the permanent structures will be in place.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is also offering free sandbag materials that will be available starting Mar. 7.

Sandbags can offer additional protection to property if used properly during the river breakup season.

Residents can pickup the free materials at the Snye Upper Parking Lot.

People will be expected to bring their own shovel and make their sandbags with the materials provided.

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