July 20th, 2018

Taber’s overland flooding situation easing up

By None on April 17, 2018.

An aerial view of overland flooding of a farm in the MD of Taber.--SUBMITTED PHOTO

Greg Price

Southern Alberta Newspapers

With many regions of southern Alberta still gripped in a state of emergency due to overland flooding, fortunately, for the people of Taber, the worst is hopefully behind them.

The Town of Taber is winding down its emergency response to the high water levels that threatened the townsite over the past few weeks.

Crews worked to establish berms and pumping locations, thereby diverting the water. And, as noted in a Monday afternoon press release, water levels are no longer considered a threat to infrastructure or homes within Taber.

“It’s a sigh of relief for us from the fact we were able to take the state of emergency off as of (today),” Taber Mayor Andrew Prokop said in a Monday afternoon interview with Southern Alberta Newspapers. “That’s a credIt to our EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), our administration and all our staff that were tasked to that format for being so efficient and effective in dealing with the flooding concerns in a timely manner, and getting the best-case scenario end result that occurred.”

Flooding concerns initially came from the south as warm weather followed several snow storms, making the water treatment plant a high priority.

“They jumped on that ASAP and were able to divert that accordingly in the first several hours. That was key. Bottom line, it takes a whole lotof effort to make things happen. We had the use of many contractors in many areas with machinery attached to that. We had some great assistance from the MD of Taber as well, despite the high need in their own area,” said Prokop. “We are working collaboratively as best as we can all the way around. That offer is out to the MD as well, and we will assist in any way we can.”

The Town of Taber is in close contact with the Municipal District of Taber and stands ready to help if requested.

Deemed as ‘catastrophic’ in some regions of the MD, part of the weekend saw Highways 36 and 864 closed from flooding, along with a slew of secondary roads, some of which have been washed out. The rising flooding levels have threatened several MD of Taber homes, businesses and property. Weekend reports have noted the main canal of St. Mary’s River Irrigation District, the main irrigation system in the area which acts as a drainage outlet, was right at the brim. The agricultural industry is in crunch time with the frequent snow and flooding delaying seeding season for farmers for 2018.

A full list of road closures and updates on the emergency situation are available on the MD of Taber website and @511Alberta is tweeting updates on highway conditions.

The Town of Taber will continue to monitor the situation in the region and notify the public should things change, which very well could happen given Monday’s rain storm and the lengthy snow season that looks to continue well into April.

“This has proven you cannot anticipate what is going to happen. Some (MD) crews have been working 24/7,” said Prokop. “I hope we have already seen the worst, but that is not a guarantee. We are always at the mercy of Mother Nature.”

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