Recent area precipitation could increase water levels of local tributaries to the Red Deer River.
Heather Flaman learned firsthand of the high water at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. At the time, the water was right in her yard at the base of the Verdant Valley Road.
“I have never seen it like that before, that’s for sure,” said Flaman who moved into the residence in 2004. “Even in the flood of 2005, the Michichi Creek barely had any water in it.”
She was able to move many of their belongings out of harm’s way, and evacuate. By the time the day was through, her yard had disappeared under water and her basement was flooded, along with their furnace and hot water heater.
The water has since receded.
“Hopefully the worst is over, I would hate to see this happening again,” she said.
Barring changes in weather, a spokesperson for Alberta Environment, Carrie Sancartier, says it appears runoff from local tributaries to the Red Deer River have peaked.
“In and around Drumheller I understand the majority of the snow has melted,” she said. "It looks as though the streams have peaked, and it looks as though, barring rain or additional snow and warm weather, they should start seeing a decrease in water levels over the next few days."
She adds conditions could certainly change if the area was to get a big snowfall or rain.
She explains that Alberta Environment takes a number conditions into account in monitoring river levels. These include snow pack, soil moisture, temperature and rainfall.
“In any year where there is higher than average snow pack, there is a risk of pooling water or flooding in low lying areas as the snow melts. In terms of the widespread river overbanking … that is typically caused by rainfall and because rainfall isn’t something we can predict accurately in advance, we can’t give a valid prediction about flooding,” she said.
Snow pack is average to below average for the Red Deer River Basin, and expected runoff is also looking like it’s below average.
Alberta Environment monitors the level of all rivers in the province.
“Whenever we notice there are conditions that are indicating we could be expecting to see rises in river levels that are potentially a cause for concern, we would issue an advisory,” she said.