Flooding in Fort McMurray has forced 13,000 people from their homes in Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality in Northern Alberta. And now, temporary coronavirus social distancing measures are being officially relaxed to help workers save homes and livelihoods of residents.
Alberta's Premier Jason Kenney tweeted about the limited exemption last night:
According to CBC News:
“The exemption order, granted Tuesday by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, states all other public health orders are still in effect and recommends those working under the exemption wear appropriate personal protective equipment when possible.”
CTV News Edmonton reported that mandatory evacuations have been ongoing in the area since the weekend:
“The alerts began on Sunday with extremely high water levels in the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers. The Rural Municipality of Wood Buffalo put in a number of mandatory evacuation orders as the situation worsened.”
Former MLA Brian Jean opened up about the personal impact of the flood after he lost his second home in four years:
His family had been in the process of rebuilding their home after it was one of the 2,400 in the city that was destroyed in the 2016 wildfire. Jean told Global News the last time he saw it on Monday, it had been “totally submerged” by water.
“Most of my family in Waterways have lost their homes,” he said. “There’s been a lot of impact, there are hundreds of homes — literally — that have water damage.”