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Get Prepared for River Breakup Season

(Fort McMurray, AB – March 30, 2017) – With the beginning of spring, ice in the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers begins to break up, jam and rise, creating a flood hazard in and around the Lower Townsite.

“The best way to keep your family safe is to be prepared,” said Chris Graham, Assistant Deputy Chief of Emergency Management. “Be aware of the risk of flooding, prepare your individual or family 72-hour emergency kits and watch for updates from the Municipality in the event of flooding.”

Even though the river may appear to be free of ice, River Breakup will only be officially declared when there is no threat of flooding from ice jams further downriver.

The ice and river banks are extremely dangerous at this time of year and should be avoided, both before and after River Breakup is declared. Residents are also reminded that stopping a vehicle on the Athabasca River Bridge to watch is not permitted.

We also encourage residents to sign up for Alberta Emergency Alerts, which are issued to provide the public with critical information about an immediate disaster, where it is occurring and what action you need to take. Visit for more information.

To learn more about River Breakup, watch the live River Breakup Camera, and find out what you can do to prepare yourself and your family, visit


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