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Updated: 15th April 2018 16:46

Updated

Highways near Taber reopen but M.D. braces for flooding to get worse

Two of the main highways in the Municipal District of Taber reopened Sunday morning after overland flooding from melting snow saw dozens of roads closed the day before.

'It’s not over with yet,' says M.D. of Taber official

Flood waters rise around hay bales in the M.D. of Taber on Saturday. Conditions were only expected to worsen on Sunday as warmer weather rolls in. (Supplied)

Two of the main highways in the Municipal District of Taber reopened Sunday morning after overland flooding from melting snow saw dozens of roads closed the day before.

The area, however, remained under an emergency alert as of 1 p.m. Sunday, as many roads were still impacted by the high water flow.

Highways 36 and 864, which are both provincial roads, were deemed fit for motorists again Sunday morning after flood waters dropped overnight. However, RCMP said they are monitoring the situation and are prepared to close the roads again if the situation worsens.

Cooler temperatures overnight and into the morning helped slow the water, which allowed for some of the drainage systems to get caught up. But as temperatures rise into the afternoon, M.D. officials say they are preparing for the worst.

Environment Canada forecast temperatures as high as 6 C for Taber on Sunday, with snow expected overnight, and above 0 C temperatures again on Monday.

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      "It's not over with yet," said Merrill Harris, the deputy reeve of the M.D. of Taber. "There's still lots of snow to be melted, today if gets warm as it did yesterday it's just going to be that much worse again this afternoon."

      Harris said the main canal of the St. Mary's River Irrigation District — the main system for irrigation in the area, which is acting as the drainage outlet — is currently right at the brim.

      "It's flowing at full capacity or more than full capacity so there's a serious situation that could happen there yet if it starts overflowing its banks," he said.

      2 families evacuated from homes

      Two families — a total of 13 people — were forced to leave their homes on Saturday due to flooding. Margaret Thiessen and her four children were among those evacuated. She said she had been watching the waters rise on her property for the past three days and was prepared to evacuate.

      They were allowed to return home Sunday morning, but only to check on their property.

      "We're going going there to rescue our animals," she said.

      A full list of road closures and updates on the emergency situation are available on the district's website, and @511Alberta is is tweeting out updates on highway conditions.

      With files from Anis Heydari

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