FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — The spring ice breakup on rivers in northern Alberta is forcing some residents of Fort McMurray neighbourhoods from their homes, and people are being urged to completely avoid travelling in the city’s downtown.
An information alert from the province says the Athabasca River and Clearwater River are flooding in areas in Fort McMurray, and that anyone in Draper, north of the city’s airport, as well as the Taiga Nova Industrial Park needs to evacuate immediately.
It says there is also a voluntary evacuation notice for the Ptarmigan Court Trailer Park in the Waterways neighbourhood, and that everyone in the areas of Waterways and Lower Townsite of Fort McMurray must be prepared to evacuate on short notice.
The municipality’s website says there’s flooding on Clearwater Drive near downtown Fort McMurray and that the water is rising, stressing no one should travel there unless it is necessary.
Evacuees are being directed to a drive-thru reception centre that has been set up at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray.
The municipality has declared a secondary state of local emergency due to the flooding, which comes on top of an initial state of local emergency declared last month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.