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County works on flood mitigation

Posted on April 11, 2018 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Jeremy Appel

With spring approaching, the County of Forty Mile is working to ensure flooding from melted snow is kept to a minimum.
Last week’s reported flooding in the M.D. of Taber has brought flood preparation in the region into increased focus.
Stewart Payne, the county’s director of emergency management, says the public works department has been working to prevent flooding for the past month.
“Our public works department has been proactive in trying to clean out some drainage areas and some areas that we’ve had history of backups,” said Payne.
“We’ve also, obviously, monitored the runoff when the snow starts melting and the water starts flowing … making sure that culverts are open.”
The county is monitoring the situation in the M.D. of Taber and co-ordinating with officials there.
“We most likely will have similar issues next week,” Payne said, referring to increasing temperatures.
“We’re working together and seeing how things are going with them.”
As of April 6, the county has only had to close a single mile-long stretch of a township road.
“It’s not damaged,” he said. “It’s just had some water backing up to the surface, which probably could be open today, but we’re leaving it where it’s at in anticipation of next week.”
County agricultural fieldman David Matz says that due to the colder-than-usual winter, his department hasn’t had to worry much about flooding.
“We haven’t had too much melting yet, so I haven’t been involved in any flood preparations,” said Matz. “It hasn’t been an issue yet for us.”
The Ag Shop is taking a “wait-and-see” approach to any potential flooding.
“You don’t know where the flooding’s going to happen if there’s going to be any,” Matz said.
“We’ve been waiting the past few weeks to see what happens and so far, very little.”

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