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Creek near Sexsmith at capacity

Emergency crews are working to reduce some of the flooding in Sexsmith. The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership’s Operations Centre has been activated, and Information Officer David Olinger says the creek has reached capacity.

“What the crews are doing is they’re taking hoses and are going to be pumping water across Highway 2 to get it away from that area. Then at the Public Works yard, people will be able to get sand bags to basically barricade away from the waters.”

Olinger several local roads have been closed due to the rapidly melting snow, but the flooding is so far limited to low lying areas and is not threatening any buildings. While relief efforts are underway, Olinger says more flooding could be in the days ahead.

“The snow has melted pretty rapidly, so that’s what’s caused the issue here. Of course, you do your best to be prepared for these things, but when it’s that rapid and moving quickly, flooding will happen.”

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Residents are asked keep children away from the creek, hoses, and anywhere water has collected. They’re also urged to obey any barricades and signs around road closures.

That’s an issue the County of Grande Prairie has been coming across. Director of Public Works Dale Van Volkingburh says it’s important that drivers don’t drive around or move any barricades.

“Motorists may not be able to see the true condition of a road from their vehicle,” he explains. “Road closures are in place to protect people and prevent further damage to roads.”

A full list of County road closures can be found on its website. There are 16 roads closed and 62 hazards in the MD of Greenview, which are mapped out online.

The Provincial River Forecast Centre has also issued an Ice Jam Warning for Beaverlodge River near the Town of Beaverlodge. An ice jam upstream of Township Road 720 is causing water levels to rise, which could flood nearby areas.

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