EDMONTON — The Red Cross has begun to help some Alberta communities — including fire-ravaged Slave Lake — that have been flooded with rain over the past two days.
A flood watch advisory was issued Friday morning for central and northern Alberta where up to 200 mm of rain is expected over the weekend.
The Red Cross responded to flooding in Slave Lake that began to fill basements and a nearby creek early Friday.
In May, a wildfire destroyed hundreds of homes and some residents are still displaced. Damage is estimated at $700 million.
The town's mayor can't help but wonder if it can get any worse for her community.
"We are just waiting for the locusts now," joked Karina Pillay-Kinnee. "We have some highways closed and we're hearing basements are flooded."
"It's frustrating, (but) it's not going to break our spirit — we're going to keep going."
But the rain has put a damper on rebuilding efforts in town. A contractor scheduled to begin work Friday had his camp flooded.
The province's northwest region has been hit the hardest. The government reminds everyone to be prepared for rising river levels as well as both in-house and overland flooding.
Regions expected to get lots of rain include Grande Prairie, Slave Lake, Peace River, Swan Lake and Edson. Environment Canada forecasts up to of 70 mm of rain Friday in these areas.
"We expect the rivers to rise rapidly," said Cara Tobin of Alberta Environment. "When this much rain falls over a short amount of time, (we want) to let municipalities and households know so they can prepare."
In Edmonton, levels in the North Saskatchewan River are reasonable and an increase in those water levels likely won't be seen until after the weekend, Tobin said.
Late last month, city streets were flooded and the river levels rose following a downpour of nearly 90 mm of rain in three days.
"The system we have in place is capable to handle rains that we have experienced and have coming our way," said Leo Girard, who works in the city's drainage services department. "We don't expect the same amount of rain we experienced June 20, but in the event we do, we're ready."
The severe weather began Thursday when several tornadoes swept through southern Alberta causing significant damage from Sundre to Red Deer
The first touched down near Bergen around 4:40 p.m, the second near the town of Olds around 5:55 p.m., a third at 8 p.m near Bowden, and the RCMP spotted a fourth west of Innisfail just after 8 p.m.