The spring runoff is underway and much as it may be a hindrance when it comes to using the walkways along the Sturgeon River, I expect most residents enjoy the sight of an overfull channel except for the inconvenience of a flooded walkway.
St. Albert residents should be rightfully interested in the subject of flooding since it has been an issue in the past and could very much be a concern in coming years. I expect most residents do not know that the highest water level this spring was roughly 3 meters BELOW an agreed flood control water level.
I recall the spring 1974 flooding. The outcome of that flooding resulted in a variety of works to minimize potential flood impacts. Much time has passed and those works and their role in arresting flood effects have largely been accepted as just part of the natural landscape. Like that portion of Red Willow Trail on the south side of the river east of St. Albert Trail. Who would have thought the flood waters went up to Sturgeon Road? Check out the link (https://www.facebook.com/VintageStAlbert/photos/pcb.1330852453619351/1330848223619774/?type=3&theater). Subsequent work of the Big Lake Basin Drainage Study resulted in the cities of St. Albert, Edmonton and counties of Sturgeon and Parkland agreeing to limit development going below a defined water level; consequently the minimum building main floor elevation is 654.68 m.
The associated effort to limit the deposit of sediments and infilling of the Sturgeon River channel are ongoing as evidenced by the drainage works underway on the north side of the Sturgeon River near Canadian Tire. So I am concerned when I see infilling of the floodway taking place along the Sturgeon River and Big Lake despite the intermunicipal agreement. You should be too!
Ken Crutchfield, St. Albert