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Mayor and council tour Fort McMurray to see response to flooding from large ice jam

Last Updated Apr 29, 2020 at 7:34 am PDT

A flooded neighbourhood along the Clearwater River in downtown Fort McMurray, Alberta is shown on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Officials in Fort McMurray are keeping a close eye on river levels after a 25-kilometre ice jam caused major flooding and forced about 12,000 people from their homes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Halinda

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Council members from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in northern Alberta toured the areas affected by flooding last night.

Regional fire Chief Jody Butz took Mayor Don Scott and three councillors through the Lower Townsite and Waterways neighbourhoods of Fort McMurray.

A 25-kilometre-long ice jam has caused major flooding and forced about 13,000 people from their homes in the city’s downtown.

Officials say in a news release that they also went to see first-hand response and mitigation efforts.

They say they will share preliminary assessments and an estimate of the damage in the coming days.

Scott says it’s been difficult to observe what’s been happening to the city, but says Fort McMurray is resilient.

“Together we will get through this historic flooding event as a strong and resilient community like we have done before,” he said in the news release.

Fort McMurray has dealt with its share of disasters, including a raging wildfire four years ago that forced an evacuation of the entire city and destroyed 2,400 homes and buildings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2020

The Canadian Press