Starland County has convened their disaster services group in preparation for expected high levels of flooding in the county from recent snow melts, the county’s chief administrative officer has said.
The county’s water lift stations in Rumsey and Craigmyle nearly flooded last week but was prevented by the use of pumps.
“We’re ramping up staffing and readying a supply of sandbags and reserving pumps,” said Starland CAO Ross Rawlusyk. “We’re trying to be as ready as possible for whatever comes our way.”
Already, the county has identified about eight high priority locations which currently face excess water. Residences and farms are also facing water issues as a result of the recent snow melt and the heavy, wet snow which landed over the weekend.
Rawlusyk says a lot of money has been lined up to prepare the county and to assist Drumheller if needed.
“We’re already going to be spending quite a bit of money getting eight additional water pumps in place, but it’s important to line that up as quickly as possible, because there will be shortages due to a number of flooded spots in Alberta,” said Rawlusyk, adding a supply of sandbags has been attained.
The county’s lift stations were flooding into the manholes, which have since been corrected, and they currently face immediate issues of flooding and backed up water in residences and farms.
“We’re doing whatever we can to safeguard residences here.”
Rawlusyk said Starland has seen more snowfall this year than they have in a number of years.
“It can happen every now and again, but the key is to be prepared for anything that can occur and be proactive in dealing with it,” he said. “We’re certainly monitoring anything we can in terms of water management.”
Starland has implemented water level monitoring stations on Wolf and Michichi Creeks, as well as the Red Deer River. That will allow the county to gain a better understanding of drainage and water levels. They have been working with Alberta Environment to provide data for their use, as well.
“It’s not intended to be permanent, we are just interested in seeing what’s draining and if the levels are going up or down. It will also help Alberta Environment predict what is happening in other water systems as a whole.”
Starland has implemented a 75 per cent road ban on their gravel roads until they firm up, forcing traffic to reduce weight put on each axle.
Rawlusyk said people can keep up to date with the bans and flooding at www.starlandcounty.com.