Last year, in the midst of a global pandemic, Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo experienced one of the worst floods in its history that impacted the downtown core.
To assist with the 2020 flood, OSCA member companies supported response and recovery efforts by lending resources such as equipment, personnel, and manpower, and by offering temporary lodging for evacuees at work camps. Below are just some examples:
- Within an hour of the request, industry started housing evacuees in company project accommodations. It was challenging to welcome our community along with making sure the pandemic protocols are met and maintained.
- Company emergency response personnel were involved in pumping water out of flooded areas.
- Companies were providing drinking and potable water during the boil water advisory in the region.
- Facilitating and supporting requests from various social profit agencies continued during the flood.
Under the direction of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Council, RMWB Administration and OSCA members formed a flood preparedness task force to support flood preparedness and mitigation efforts in the region. To prepare for the 2021 river break, our members have created an inventory of equipment industry has available to assist with flood mitigation and response, and have lent their technical expertise in temporary flood mitigation measures and emergency response.
In preparation for the river breakup the RMWB has installed Triple Dams throughout the community. Sand and bags are also available free of charge to residents and business owners affected by the 2020 flood. River breakup preparedness construction will run until April 1, 2021. To stay informed and alert, you can download three apps on your smart phone: Alertable, Alberta Emergency Alert and Alberta River to receive up to date information from the RMWB.
Looking ahead, the oil sands industry continues to be committed to the Wood Buffalo region. We stand with the community and are here to support flood mitigation plans and the river breakup for the 2021 season.
To sign up for emergency alerts, to find flood mitigation information and for river updates, visit http://rmwb.ca/riverbreakup