As of Tuesday, due to the river waters remaining high and fast, Bower Ponds will remain closed for resident safety and Great Chief Park, which had been previously opened for scheduled bookings, will close again today until further notice.
“We are concerned for resident safety around the fast moving waters that still exist in that area,” said Karen Mann, emergency operations centre director. “Opening Great Chief Park created an access point for people to go down and look at the river, and that has created some safety issues that we want to avoid at all costs.”
Crews have assessed the damage at Bower Ponds, and cleanup will begin soon. The City is not confident that the area will be clear of water and safe for the long weekend celebrations, so all events scheduled to take place at Bower Ponds and Great Chief Park are in the process of being relocated to new, suitable locations within the City.
“We feel like this is the best way to keep Red Deerians safe, but at the same time allowing the events planned for the long weekend to still happen,” said manager of Recreation, Parks & Culture Shelley Gagnon. “We are very thankful to the committees and volunteers for working with us and understanding the situation we are faced with.”
In high stream flow conditions, the river bank can become extremely unstable. For their personal safety, citizens should stay away from the river until further notice.
For more information about the Canada Day celebrations, contact the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society at 403-346-0055 or visit www.rdchs.com. For more information about the Red Deer Centennial events, contact the Red Deer Centennial Committee at 403 340-2013 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City will send out an update to citizens once new locations for these events have been secured.