Medicine Hat residents may not need to evacuate homes, as flood fears ease

CALGARY- Despite a State of Emergency being issued due to flood fears, the city of Medicine Hat says it doesn’t think people will need to evacuate their homes.

An updated forecast from Environment Canada shows a peak river flow of 2,400 cubic metres per second by Saturday, which is half of what was originally anticipated.

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Crews are still working to shore up areas that could be affected, but it appears the South Saskatchewan River won’t rise as much as initially feared.

An emergency operations centre was opened last Tuesday, and an evacuation centre was set up.

READ MORE: Several southern Alberta communities under state of emergency

Sean Balfour’s home was flooded last year, and on Thursday he was out sandbagging, saying he’d rather be safe than sorry.

“Most of us haven’t even finished rebuilding from last year, it’s exasperating,” he said. “It’s very tiring, it’s a huge weight on our shoulders.”

During the 2013 floods, 10,000 people in Medicine Hat were forced to leave their homes, and hundreds of homes were flooded.

-With files from the Canadian Press and CHAT 

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