“Stay away from the ice: River Breakup isn’t over yet.”
In a media release on Friday, the RMWB revealed that the ice jam on the Athabasca River has reached 17 kilometres in length and that safety barricades have been installed in high-risk areas along the banks.
Officials at Regional Emergency Services are advising residents to respect the barricades.
Localized flooding has occurred in the Snye area, as well as along the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers, with water levels 3 metres above normal and remaining stable.
River breakup will officially be declared when the threat of flooding has been eliminated.
To watch the river’s progress minute-by-minute, watch the live feed here
Although there’s no official word from the municipality the Athabasca river ice has started its annual break up.
Movement on the river began yesterday morning, only a day short of the earliest recorded river breakup of April 9th in 1885 according to municipal records.
Late yesterday afternoon an observation flight was conducted by Alberta Environment and Parks revealing the ice jam that formed in Fort McMurray was 14.5 kilometres long.
The toe, or leading, most downstream edge, of the jam is located at the Parson’s Creek overpass with the head of the ice jam, or the most upstream end, was located 8 kilometresm upstream of Fort McMurray.
Incoming ice from upstream will continue to add to the length of the jam, however this is not expected to be significant as those concentrations are low.
While water levels on the Athabasca have remained steady, levels on the Clearwater are expected to continue to rise until flow rates through the ice blockage at the mouth equalize.
As conditions can change rapidly, the RMWB advises residents to watch the river from a safe distance and to make an emergency plan in case of flooding.
The city’s river break-up cam can be found here
The Athabasca River has begun to break up.
Eyewitnesses report seeing large ice chunks floating down the river from different vantage points.
The RMWB is advising residents to stay away from the river banks and to avoid walking under the bridge or stopping while driving over it.
A river breakup camera is broadcasting live footage, which can be accessed here.
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