A central Alberta RV park was hit hard by an ice jam earlier this week.
“It was like a tornado went through there,” said Andre Mercier, the manager of River Creek RV Park, located on Highway 21 west of Stettler.
Mercier received a phone call about the incident around 6 a.m. on Monday morning. An hour later, he arrived to the park and was “devastated” by the sight.
“When I got here there was still ice cracking away somewhere. But then the ice came through the park here and it kind of wiped everything out,” said Mercier, whose son owns the park.
“There was kind of a big flood with it and the water was at least three feet deep, maybe even four feet in some places. It flooded most of the trailers that were here and from what I understand, there are three of them that are missing. Those three I would recognize, but they’re not here. I take it they’re down the river somewhere, but I don’t know for sure.”
The park is just east of the Content Bridge, which crosses the Red Deer River.
“It’s like you go into shock as you look around and walk around. You ask yourself what’s next and how much damage has been done,” he said.
“If you were to pick something up, it probably wouldn’t be any good anymore. It’s destroyed. Most of the people are probably going to have to start all over.”
Mercier said underground power and electrical equipment “has been hit and needs to be looked after.” Some of the water and sewer setup is broken and filled with gravel, he added.
“The water was high enough to float some trailers 100 yards further down than when they were supposed to be, so you can imagine the force of the water that was down here at that time and the ice hitting some of these trailers.”
The park was hit by a similar incident two years ago, but is was “nothing like this,” said Mercier.
“This is 100 times worse.”
Mercier said he expects repairs to come at “quite a cost.”