The Municipal District of Bighorn has declared a local state of emergency in Lac Des Arcs and Exshaw in addition to an advisory to boil water in Harvie Heights.
MD Reeve Dene Cooper said Thursday afternoon (June 20) residents of Lac Des Arcs have been evacuated to Cochrane with the assistance of that community’s fire department.
“The problem in Exshaw is extreme flooding — many, many houses are flooded,” Cooper said. “I don’t know if we have lost any of the houses, but I expect to.
“We have lost one of our bridges, the bridge that goes to the industrial compound and the CPR and highway bridges are under serious threat, we are trying to save them at this point.”
There is an evacuation centre set up at the school in Exshaw, although at this point Cooper said it is a voluntary evacuation at this point. He added no personal injuries have been reported either and the hamlet’s water treatment plant is under pressure.
Both Jura and Exshaw creeks are affected by the flooding by continued rain the area over the past 24 hours. The MD is one of 12 Alberta municipalities in a local state of emergency.
Alberta Emergency Management Association is expected to assess the flood and forecast situation this afternoon and provide an update for what residents can expect over the next 24-hours.
As of Thursday morning, Environment Canada was predicting from 50 to 70 mm of rain in the area by the end of Friday (June21).