An M.D. map in Kevin Cymbaluk’s office has many marks showing where flooding took place in 2013; will his map for 2018 be marked in the same way?
With winter lingering, the possibility of flooding increases in the Smoky River region. If it occurs, the M.D. of Smoky River No. 130 is ready with resources in hand.
“The key thing is, we have a list of pre-runoff activities,” says Kevin Cymbaluk, the director of operations for the M.D.
“We go through a checklist, which includes hiring (heavy equipment operators) and we also use our own equipment to clean ditches and culverts.”
Two steamers with crews are ready to answer the call. Grader operators also play their part, looking for possible flood spots out in the M.D.
The public works department ensures the main drainage ditches are open. But with 30 such ditches throughout the M.D., they can’t all be opened at once.
The interceptor ditches near Guy and Jean Cote are monitored and cleaned as required. Previously flooded locations are monitored as well.
Cymbaluk monitors the weather services for snow and rain warnings. The snowfall on April 17 didn’t help and he’s concerned about the weather in this last week of the month, that it doesn’t result in a significant temperature increase with a lot of rain.
“The late season snowfalls are bad for runoff,” says Cymbaluk.
He reminds residents to be aware of their surroundings during runoff, especially for culvert washouts and on bridge decks.
Meanwhile, Smoky River Emergency Services is also ready for possible flooding.
Fire Chief Marcel Maure notes the fire department recently purchased two 200-foot aqua dams to help divert water. Also, they have different sizes of pumps and hoses, as well as a 12-bag sandbagger to speed up sandbag filling.
This equipment has been used in several communities already and is available 24/7.
Another resource to hand is Alberta Emergency Alert, provided by the provincial government.
An app is available for both Android and Apple smartphones and alerts are posted when threatening weather or other situations occur.
For more information, go to www.albertaemergencyalert.ca. Also, check Page 4 of this week’s Express for more.
If you would like to submit photos of flooded lands within the M.D. or a residential area, send them to email@example.com with details.