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Updates on flooding, rainfall issues and road closures in Lac La Biche County

Post Date:06/08/2020 2:00 AM

High rainfall and problems with drainage are causing localized overland flooding in places throughout Lac La Biche County. This page contains the information that residents need to know to protect themselves and their properties.

Call 780-623-6393 if you have additional questions for Lac La Biche County. Due to the improving situation, our flood information line will now be answered from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday until further notice. If you're experiencing a flooding emergency outside those hours (i.e. overnight or on a weekend), please call the line and press 1 to reach the on-call staff member.

Jump to:

Highway and local road closures
Steps you can take to protect yourself and your property
Chronological updates

Update: Declaration of State of Local Emergency terminated

Lac La Biche County's State of Local Emergency has been terminated, as of 3:49 p.m. on June 11, 2020. Due to the improving flood situation, we no longer require the additional powers that declaring a State of Local Emergency enables.

Update: Mandatory evacuation order for Old Conklin Road north of KM 7 now rescinded

The mandatory evacuation order that was previously in place for Old Conklin Road north of KM 7 has been rescinded as 1:50 p.m. on June 11, 2020.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Highway and local road closures

Highway closures

Please refer to 511.alberta.ca for the latest updates.

Local road closures

Due to flooding, several parts of roads in Lac La Biche County are closed at this time.

Click here to see a current map of local road closures (current as of 3 p.m. on June 11, 2020)

These closures are temporary, but the roads have been deemed unsafe for public use at this time, and the short-term forecast is expected to make conditions worse. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we thank residents for their patience.

Steps you can take to protect yourself and your property

If you have a sump pump at your property, and it's possible to switch it from sanitary sewer drainage to yard or street drainage, we encourage you to do so. This will help keep the sewer system from being overloaded during periods of high rainfall. Please note that if isn't feasible to switch your sump pump drainage, you should not feel pressured to do so. This is a small, helpful action that you can take, but if technical reasons or a lack of knowledge are preventing you from switching, leave your sump pump as is.

Potential basement flooding

There is always a possibility of water entering basements during and after periods of flooding and high rainfall. If your property has a basement, we recommend moving valuables and essential items to safer areas.

Report Flood Damage to Lac La Biche County

Has your basement flooded? Are your fields and pastures now underwater? Is your driveway affected? We need to know how many people in our County have experienced property damage or loss as a result of the ongoing flooding, so we are asking impacted residents and property owners to fill out a short questionnaire on our website (linked here).

All we are doing at this point is collecting information, and providing us with this information is not a guarantee of action being taken. We don't yet know what future support programs and services will be provided.

Sandbags and sand available for water mitigation

There are empty sandbags available at County Centre in the hamlet of Lac La Biche near the front doors. There are also empty sandbags at the Plamondon Co-op Gas Bar in the hamlet of Plamondon. Feel free to take what you need to help mitigate water issues on your property.

There are also sand piles at McArthur Place, Golden Sands, the Plamondon Fire Hall, the Rich Lake Fire Hall, and Campsite Road that you can use to fill the bags. Click here for a map of the County with the sand pile locations marked.

 

Chronological Updates

Update (4 p.m. on June 11, 2020)

Effective at 3:49 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, 2020, Lac La Biche County's Declaration of a State of Local Emergency has been terminated. This means the State of Local Emergency in our municipality has come to an end.

Update (2 p.m. on June 11, 2020)

Water levels are down at the Owl River Transfer Station, and it will be open to the public again for its regular 9 am to 4:30 pm hours this Saturday, June 13.

Thank you for your patience.

Update (1:50 p.m. on June 11, 2020)

The mandatory evacuation order that was previously in place for Old Conklin Road north of KM 7 has been rescinded as 1:50 p.m. on June 11, 2020.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Update (4:45 p.m. on June 10, 2020)

If you are aware of an area that is difficult to travel and requires immediate attention (i.e. washouts, flooding, etc.), please call 780-623-6393.

For routine concerns or questions about the County’s road and drainage services, please contact us at 780-623-1747 during regular business hours.

Update (8:20 p.m. on June 9, 2020)

Due to flooding and potential bridge washouts, a mandatory evacuation order is in effect for Old Conklin Road, from KM 7 to the County boundary. This order is effective at 8 p.m. on June 9, 2020.

Residences on Old Conklin Road south of KM 7 are not affected by this order.

If you are in the area covered by this order, leave the area immediately. A critical bridge north of KM 7 has washed out once already, and it may wash out a second time. People who remain in the evacuation zone will do so at their own risk, and Lac La Biche County will not provide emergency assistance north of KM 7 until further notice.

Update (1:45 p.m. on June 9, 2020)

Due to fluctuating flood levels and washouts, the Old Conklin Road is now closed. 

We recommend that you avoid the area and choose alternate routes.

Update (1:15 p.m. on June 9, 2020)

The Nashim Drive bridge has been reinforced and remains open, but shouldn't be used by any traffic over 4,500 kg (approximately the size of an ambulance). The bridge is emergency services' only access to the area, and must be preserved for their use and light, local traffic.

There's traffic control on site - please follow their instructions.

Update (9:30 a.m. on June 9, 2020)

Curbside pickup is still proceeding as normal for the hamlet of Lac La Biche. We will provide you with an update as soon as possible about Wednesday pickup for the hamlet of Plamondon and rural subdivisions.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Update (11 p.m. on June 8, 2020)

Effective at 8:30 p.m. this evening, our mandatory evacuation order has been mostly rescinded. The only area that remains under a mandatory evacuation order is the BNR Plant Road. Residents of all other areas in the evacuated zone are allowed to return to their homes. Evacuees are being contacted directly.

The bridge on Nashim Drive has been damaged by flooding and is still being rebuilt, so Nashim Drive is closed at the bridge. Residents of 107 Street can access their properties by following Nashim Drive west from the hamlet of Lac La Biche. Residents of areas west of the bridge will need to detour down Highway 36, Christy Creek Road (Township Road 653/Range Road 150) and Highway 663. Keep in mind that this is approximately a 40-minute detour. Highway 55 immediately west of the hamlet of Lac La Biche is closed to the public and cannot be used.

Evacuees are not obligated to return to their homes if they do not wish to travel right away. If you arrive at your property and find it is not habitable for any reason, call 780-623-6396 to reach our Emergency Social Services staff and receive assistance. If you have not previously registered as an evacuee, please call Emergency Social Services for re-entry information.

Update (11 p.m. on June 8, 2020)

Highway 36 is now closed between Highway 55 East (the turnoff to Cold Lake) and Highway 28, due to flooding.

Highway 36 is OPEN from the hamlet of Lac La Biche to the intersection with Highway 55 East. This means residents can use Christy Creek Road (Township Road 653/Range Road 150) to move between Highways 36 and 663.

Please visit 511alberta.ca for updates.

Update (6:15 pm on June 8, 2020)

Alberta Transportation has closed Highway 881 at both the Big Bay Corner and kilometre 126 (north of Heart Lake). 

Commercial traffic travelling north that have not yet reached Big Bay Corner should stage at the weigh scale south of Lakeland Drive. Commercial traffic travelling south should stage at the Highway 881 and 858 pullout.

We recommend that commercial traffic does not travel north on Highway 858 due to the fluctuating flood conditions. However, residential and lighter traffic can take a detour past the Beaver Lake Landfill towards Touchwood Lake onto Highway 881, provided you have an essential reason for travelling in this direction, such as accessing your home.

Any commercial traffic north of kilometre 126 on Highway 881 needs to stage in Conklin.

Any traffic north of the Big Bay Corner and south of kilometre 126 must stage in place if their final destination is beyond those points.

Follow 511.alberta.ca for updates.

Update (2:30 pm on June 8, 2020)

Due to flooding at the entrance to the Owl River Transfer Site, the site will be closed tomorrow.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding.

Update (2 pm on June 8, 2020)

Fortis originally planned to conduct maintenance east of the hamlet of Lac La Biche where the Summit Heights Reservoir is located at 9 am tomorrow.

Please note that this work has now been cancelled due to the evolving situation, and will be rescheduled to a future date.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Update (12 am on June 8, 2020)

There are empty sand bags available at County Centre in the hamlet of Lac La Biche near the front doors. Feel free to take what you need to help mitigate water issues on your property.

There are also sand piles at McArthur Place, Golden Sands, near the Plamondon Fire Hall, and midway down Campsite Road that you can use to fill the bags.

Update (11:30 pm on June 7, 2020)

Due to the emergency flooding and drainage issues in Lac La Biche County, our staff can activate a livestock evacuation centre to assist residents with evacuating their animals if required.

If there’s a need, this centre can provide a safe location for your livestock, provide care (including food and medical aid), and assist with returning animals after the emergency is over. 

If you feel that your livestock may be at risk, please contact our Flooding Information Line at (780) 623-6393.

Update (10 pm on June 7, 2020)

At this time, the main lift station for the hamlet of Lac La Biche remains operational but is under threat. Residents in the hamlet of Lac La Biche are advised to move valuables and essential items out of basements.

Update (8:10 pm on June 7, 2020)

The area between Highway 55, Mission Road, Nashim Drive and immediately west of 105 Street in the hamlet of Lac La Biche is now under a mandatory evacuation order. Residents of this area are required to leave immediately. There is potential for the train tracks to wash out, causing approximately four feet of water to suddenly enter the area.

If you are in the affected area, leave the area immediately. Please go to the Devon Room at the Bold Center to register and you will be placed in a hotel room. Please bring pets and essential supplies for the next 48 hours with you. Please use the room's side door at the back of the building, not the main doors.

Area under evacuation order:

Evacuation area

Update (6:15 pm on June 7, 2020)

Please be advised that there may be intermittent power outages throughout the Province (including the Lac La Biche County area) which could affect all County residents. 

Specific to residents of Sunset Bay, Keywaytin, Green Banks, Churchill Gates, Summit Heights, Deer Meadows and Lakeview Estates: lift stations in your areas may be temporarily without power this evening. This could cause sewer backups and flooding in basements or low-lying areas of your home.

Take appropriate measures to protect your valuables: consider moving them to higher ground if possible. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Flooding Information Line at (780) 623-6393. County staff will be visiting affected residents door-to-door with this information to ensure that they receive it.

If you have a sump pump at your property, and it's possible to switch it from sanitary sewer drainage to yard or street drainage, we encourage you to do so. This will also help keep the sewer system from being overloaded.

Please note that if isn't feasible to switch your sump pump from sanitary sewer drainage to yard or street drainage, you should not feel pressured to do so. This is a small, helpful action that you can take, but if technical reasons or a lack of knowledge are preventing you from switching, leave your sump pump as is.

We are also asking all residents to do their part by limiting their water consumption.

Contact Us

Although the County still has after-hours lines available for road and utilities emergencies, for the duration of the spring 2020 flooding issue, you may also call 780-623-6393 for assistance from County staff. 

Use this information line if you need more details about this situation and how it may affect you.