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Alberta hamlet evacuated for flooding just months after wildfires

A hamlet in northern Alberta is under an evacuation order after a dousing of torrential rain that washed out nearby highways.

The state of emergency was declared in Marten Beach, Alta. just two months after it dealt with wildfires that also prompted an evacuation.

Murray Kerik, the reeve of the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River told the Edmonton Journal that the frequent flooding in the area appears to worsen each year.

“Between fires and floods we’re just waiting for the locusts,” he said.

According to Kerik, the municipality tried to prepare for the rising water in low areas of the hamlet on Thursday by stacking sandbags, but it wasn’t enough.

“The water came so fast that there weren’t enough sandbags in Alberta to stop that,” Kerik said to the paper on Friday.

He added that there’s not much they can do until the water recedes and staff is able to put pumps in.

A flood update from the municipal district’s Facebook page told residents Saturday evening that a mandatory evacuation order remains in effect.

An additional post from the page on Sunday explains that water in the flood zones are being relocated to the Marten River using extra pump resources from the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

“After the community water has been moved from site, the MD will work to move water pumped from residential basements to the river once the evacuation order is lifted,” it said.

The municipal district also reminded its residents to retain all receipts for documentation purposes when filing insurance claims.