Heavy Rains Prompt Road Closures, Power Outages in Fort McMurray

After a record-breaking wildfire, Fort McMurray is now facing record-breaking high water as heavy morning rainfall floods parts of Gregoire, downtown and Thickwood. The same people who had earlier spent weeks clearing smoke fumes out of their homes have now encountered flooded basements and leaking roofs. The city’s high waters formed pools on the road that are deep and wide enough to make regular traffic impossible.

According to local administration, roads have been closed throughout the city as work crews scramble to divert flooding with barriers and use vacuum trucks to suck up the rising waters. Evidently, power outages are being reported across the city and for the first time since May’s wildfires, the municipality has activated the Regional Emergency Operations Centre again at around 11 a.m. However, no level of government has declared a state of emergency as yet and there have been no evacuations, whether be mandatory or voluntary, around any area of Wood Buffalo.

Although there have been no evacuations, municipality is asking people to restrict travel and respect any barricades. Reports confirm that flooding has closed Gregoire Drive and Mackenzie Boulevard, as well as Morrison North. The bypass along Memorial southbound is becoming impassable. Moreover, power loss has resulted in out of order traffic lights. The authorities are stressing that even if some roads don’t have barricades, they should be avoided if they are flooded because the ground underneath will likely be slippery and could have unseen debris. Environment Canada is warning low-lying areas will continue to see localized flooding, and washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts should be avoided. Campers should move away from low-lying areas.

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