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County clearing culverts to help with rapid spring runoff

The County of Grande Prairie is doing what it can to avoid more flooding from spring runoff. Director of Public Works Dale Van Volkingburgh says the culverts in some areas aren’t able to handle all of the running water, and others are frozen.

“Hired crews and our own crews are out trying to steam culverts or clean the end of culverts so that the water can get to the culverts,” he says. “There’s a lot of snow banks in the road ditches, which slows the water from accessing the culverts.”

So far, water has been spotted crossing the road in three different locations in the County, and they are monitoring the rest of the region. Flooding has been reported across the Peace country, something Van Volkingburgh attributes to the recent warm weather.

“I would say it has been a quicker melt due to the winds that were over the weekend where it kept the temperatures above zero overnight also, so there’s no reprieve of the slowing of the water down overnight when it gets to minus one or two. This weekend it didn’t do that, so the thaw kept coming and coming.”

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Van Volkingburgh adds that the long winter with heavy snow the region has seen means there’s more to melt than usual than usual this spring. The next few days will be spent making sure road ditches can take as much water as possible, and the path of least resistance leads to the proper channels.

Residents with concerns are encouraged to contact the Public Works 24-hour Emergency Line at 780-532-7393 so the area can be monitored.

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