Northern Alberta residents are allowed to return home. CP photo

Northern Alberta residents are allowed to return home. CP photo

Evacuation orders lifted in Fort McMurray, Fort Vermilion as cleanup continues

‘Residents may return home if they choose’

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Most evacuation orders brought in after ice jams on several rivers caused flooding and forced thousands of people out of their homes in northern Alberta have been lifted.

Officials in Mackenzie County allowed about 500 residents from Fort Vermilion, Buttertown and Beaver Ranch to return Monday morning.

“Residents may return home if they choose. You may also stay in the accommodations that you have been provided,” county officials said Sunday in a social media update. “Once you check out of your room, you may not return.”

They warned residents returning home to Fort Vermilion to watch for sinkholes as the ice jam that had caused flooding on the Peace River left large chunks of ice on the streets.

Members of the Little Red River Cree Nation at Garden River, which is also near the Peace River, were still under an evacuation alert Monday, an Alberta government website indicated.

In the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes the city of Fort McMurray, all mandatory evacuation orders were lifted by 6 p.m. Sunday. About 13,000 people were forced out of their homes at the height of the flooding on the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers.

The final order ended as Fort McMurray marked the four-year anniversary of a raging fire that emptied the city four years ago.

Many of the evacuation orders had begun the last weekend of April due to the spring ice breakup.

The flooding affected several low-lying areas along the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers, including downtown Fort McMurray.

Residents there returned to soaked walls and muddy basements on the weekend. Some of the homes won’t be inhabitable because of water damage.

Premier Jason Kenney has said residents of northern Alberta forced from their homes due to flooding will receive emergency payments. Evacuees can apply for $1,250 for each adult and $500 for each child.

CoronavirusFort McMurray

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP execute search warrant; illegal drugs seized

Two Wetaskiwin residents have been charged with possession and trafficking of Methamphetamine.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

Most Read