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Get Prepared

River Updates

Athabasca Ice Observation Reports

Observation reports and maps from the Alberta ministry of Environment and Parks offer snapshots of ice conditions on the Athabasca River upstream and downstream from Fort McMurray.

Live River Camera

Image from River Breakup Camera

Watch the ice from a safe distance through the River Breakup Camera.

Flooding is a naturally occurring event in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, particularly during River Breakup along the Athabasca, Clearwater and Christina Rivers which typically occurs during the month of April. The Emergency Management Branch works closely with Alberta Environment to mitigate the potential impact of a flood.

Provincial river forecasters monitor the Athabasca River upper basin, local river levels, precipitation and overall weather patterns, particularly during the spring months when the risk of flooding is greater.

Real time advisories and warnings providing information on high stream flows, floods and ice jams are available on the Alberta Environment website.

Make an Emergency Plan

Every household needs an emergency plan.

Remember that your family may not be together during a flood.

  • Discuss what to do if family members are at different locations when a flood occurs (work, school, home).
  • List contact information for close family, friends and caregivers.
  • Store important documents (passports, birth certificates, insurance documents) in easy to carry waterproof container.
  • Identify  an out of town contact person.

Get a 72 Hour Preparedness Kit


  • Water (2 litres per person, per day)
  • Canned food, energy bars, dried foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Wind up or battery  powered flashlights and radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Change of clothing and footwear
  • Prescriptions medications
  • Infant supplies such as diapers and formula
  • Pet supplies such as food, food/water dish, leash, crate, kitty litter and litter pan
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Extra keys
  • Cash in smaller bills

Fore more information, please visit www.getprepared.ca.

Protect Your Home

  • Review your insurance policy. Overland and sewer backup flooding is not typically covered by a standard homeowner's insurance policy. Contact your insurer to find out if you can purchase optional coverage for overland flooding and sewer backups.
  • Create a detailed inventory of your property and keep it in a safe place. Video recorders are an easy way to document what you have, enable the date display when recording.
  • Install backflow valves in sump pumps, the floor, sink, toilet and washing machine drains in your basement to prevent sewer backups.
  • Install weather protection sealant around basement windows and ground level doors.
  • Periodically check sump pump to confirm it is working properly.
  • Landscape and build up areas against your foundation to keep water moving away.
  • Confirm downspouts are functioning and install extensions to keep water away from your home.
  • Ensure that water does not drain onto your neighbour’s property.
  • If your property is next to a ditch or stream, keep the banks clear of brush and other debris.
  • Store valuable items on upper floors of your home, away from the basement.
  • If flooding is imminent, shut off electricity in areas in your home that may be affected. Use sand bags or install flood shields or built-up barriers for basement windows and doors.
  • Clear snow away from your home's foundation.
  • Ensure downspouts extend at least six feet away from your basement wall. Water should drain toward the street, backyard or alleyways.

In Case of Evacuation

Please read Evacuation Information.

FLOOD RECOVERY: Information and resources