Municipality begins mandatory evacuations

In the interest of public safety, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Emergency Management is ordering mandatory evacuations for Grayling Terrace and the most southerly portion of Draper Road.

Sloughing, or erosion, on Beacon Hill’s southwest side is causing material to fall into the Hangingstone River. With heavy rainfall expected this evening and through the next 48 hours, the amount of sloughing is expected to increase significantly. The falling material threatens to backup the flow of water on the Hanginstone. This backup has strong potential to flood Grayling Terrace. Sandbags to secure Grayling Terrace are in place with more enroute. Approximately 340 residents will be affected by the Grayling Terrace mandatory evacuation.

Due to overland flooding, and heavy rainfall, a section of the most southerly portion of Draper Road is rapidly deteriorating. As a result of the deterioration of this roadway, Regional Emergency Management has issued a mandatory evacuation order for residences on Draper Road, that are south of the Draper Bridge. This bridge crosses the Saprae Creek, and is approximately 6.5 KM south on Draper Road.  The 78 residents affected by this mandatory evacuation are south of this section of road way. It is only this section of Draper Road that is under mandatory evacuation.

Ongoing efforts to correct the deterioration of this section of road have not successfully stopped erosion. Currently, this section of road is single lane only, and with anticipated rainfall projections, this road will become impassible to conventional vehicles.

Public Safety is of the utmost concern at this point in time. Emergency Services Personnel have made the decisions to evacuate based on the safety and security of residents.

Emergency Services personnel will be facilitating these evacuations, and ensuring safe transport to the reception centre at Frank Lacroix arena.  Residents that require assistance with the evacuation are directed to  call the Citizen Inquiry Line at 780-762-3639. Out of respect for affected residents and emergency services personnel, media are asked not to visit the emergency reception centre.