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an orange road closed sign with crew working on a road flooded by water
Alison MacKinnon | CTV News Edmonton

Rain Rain, Go Away

Wildfire evacuees in Yellowhead County now face flooding prompting a state of emergency

After being evacuated because of wildfires, Yellowhead County residents face a new challenge. Heavy rain has caused flooding in the area, forcing some to flee.

Specifically, people in Lower Robb, about 250 kilometres west of Edmonton, have been told to leave their homes.

The county declared a state of emergency on Monday due to the flooding because many roads are covered with water. The Chief Administrative Officer, Luc Mercier, has warned people not to drive on these roads because they could be washed out.

Meanwhile, the community of Cadomin is also facing difficulties. Snow has knocked down power lines, causing a blackout. It might take several days for the electricity to be restored.

The mayor of Yellowhead County, Wade Williams, expressed his disbelief and said they must deal with the situation.

a photo of a bridge in edson with surrounding water as high as the bridge due to flooding
Flooding in Edson following heavy rainfall in the area | Travis McEwan | CBC News

“Honestly, I can’t believe that we’re standing back here…This is the situation we’re in, and we have to try and deal with it,” Williams told The Globe and Mail.

Last week, the rain was seen as a positive thing because it helped the firefighters in their battle against the wildfires. However, the excessive rain has caused problems of its own.

The mayor of Edson, Kevin Zahara, and the town’s Chief Administrative Officer mentioned that they received more than 85 millimetres of rain in a short period of time.

This has led to road closures and strained the town’s infrastructure. They had planned to talk about the residents’ return and the fires’ status, but now their priority is dealing with the flooding.

The town has also declared a state of emergency to deal with the heavy rainfall. 

Mayor Zahara became emotional as he acknowledged the difficulties that people have been facing in the past few weeks. He expressed his pride in the town’s staff and emergency responders for their efforts during this challenging time.

“Today is hard to watch, to see people struggling with their homes, but I am incredibly proud of our staff here in the Town of Edson and all of our emergency responders,” said Zahara during a video update on Monday.

The residents of Yellowhead County, who were already dealing with the aftermath of wildfires, now have to cope with flooding. But the local authorities are working hard to manage the crisis and support the affected communities.

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