It's one of the hardest hit communities by last week's Alberta floods, with power outages, gas leaks and lack of water treatment - not to mention overland flooding as far as the eye can see.

The southern Alberta town of High River remains under a state of emergency - and much of it still under water.

The Highwood River began flooding the community on Thursday and continued Friday, sending more water rushing into the community than ever seen before.

While Calgarians started to return home and assess the damage, the situation remained very different in High River Sunday.

“I want to stress that High River is in a very different situation,” High River mayor Emile Blokland told CTV News Sunday.

“Much of our town is still under water. I have seen the damage first hand. It is immense.”

Military and police have worked around the clock with search and rescue efforts as well as maintaining security, reports the Calgary Sun.

“We’ve actually worked now to replace those officers and brought in enough resources that we can stand them down and let them start dealing with what’s occurred to them,” Cpl. Laurel Kading told the Sun.

“But it’s devastating. There’s a lot of damage."

Blokland told reporters Sunday that a “huge body of water” still covers much of the eastern part of the town.

He estimated it to be nearly “one-mile wide” and “three miles to the north,” reports McLean's.

Check out photos of the widespread flooding in the slideshow below:

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  • Daniel Boddy, nine, helps with the clean-up work as hose lines from pumps drain water from flooded basement in the Bridgeland neighborhood in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 23, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation across Southern Alberta.

  • Daniel Boddy, nine, helps with the clean-up work as hose lines from pumps drain water from flooded basement in the Bridgeland neighborhood in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 23, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation across Southern Alberta.

  • A boy crosses a silt covered street in Chinatown as clean-up crews work in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 23, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation across Southern Alberta.

  • People place sand bags as the river rises rapidly and begins flooding in Medicine Hat, Alberta, on Sunday, June 23, 2013.

  • Homeowner Glenn Tibbles looks at the damage done by floodwaters to his home near downtown Calgary, Alberta, on Sunday, June 23, 2013. About 65,000 residents of Calgary were being allowed to return to their homes Sunday to assess the damage from flooding that has left Alberta's largest city awash in debris and dirty water.

  • Cpl. Brett Martens from CFB Edmonton helps a resident clear out damaged debris from their home near downtown Calgary, Alberta, on Sunday, June 23, 2013. About 65,000 residents of Calgary were being allowed to return to their homes Sunday to assess the damage from flooding that has left Alberta's largest city awash in debris and dirty water.

  • A home is inundated with floodwaters on the Siksika First Nation, Alberta, on Sunday, June 23, 2013. Alberta's municipal affairs minister says 27 communities are under a state of emergency as some areas begin to recover from flooding while others are still bracing for it.

  • People watch as the river rises rapidly and begins flooding in Medicine Hat, Alta., on Sunday, June 23, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

  • Floodwaters inundate homes in Medicine Hat, Alberta, on Sunday, June 23, 2013. Alberta's municipal affairs minister says 27 communities are under a state of emergency as some areas begin to recover from flooding while others are still bracing for it.

  • Police officers close a bridge as a military helicopter patrols the the area as the river rises rapidly and begins flooding in Medicine Hat, Alberta on Sunday, June 23, 2013.

  • Homeowner Glenn Tibbles looks at the damage done by flood waters to his home near downtown Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 23, 2013.

  • People help a friend move furniture and personal belongings out of his mud-soaked basement near downtown Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 23, 2013.

  • Homeowner Glenn Tibbles looks at the damage done by floodwaters to his home near downtown Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 23, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

  • Cpl. Brett Martens from CFB Edmonton helps a resident clear out damaged debris from their home near downtown Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 23, 2013.

  • Residents near downtown Calgary, Alta. load bins with their mud-soaked belongings on Sunday, June 23, 2013.

  • Nathan and Sarah MacBey carry a suitcase of clean dry clothes from their home after the waters receded in Calgary's southend Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • Nathan and Sarah MacBey tour their flooded home for the first time since the waters receded in Calgary's southend Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • Furniture is tossed around a flooded home and is seen after the waters receded in Calgary's southend Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • Sarah MacBey pauses for a moment as she walks through her flooded home for the first time since the waters receded in Calgary's southend Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • Sarah MacBey picks up a mud covered book that she had made for her husband for fathers day as she tours her flooded home for the first time since the waters receded in Calgary's southend Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • Sarah MacBey pauses for a moment as she walks through her flooded home for the first time since the waters receded in Calgary's southend Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A house is submerged by flood water at a park near the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, Canada June 22, 2013. Water levels have dropped slightly today.

  • This aerial photo shows the Bow River pouring through the Ghost Lake dam near Cochrane, Alberta, Canada on Saturday, June 22, 2013. The Bow flows trough Calgary and heavy rains plus mountain snow melt have caused evacuations and large scale flooding in the city as well as much of Southern Alberta.

  • The Canadian military sets-up camp near Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada on Saturday, June 22, 2013, as they prepare to help flood ravaged Alberta.

  • Furniture floats to the top of a set of stairs leading to the basement as lines on the wall show the height of the water before it receded in a home in Calgary's southend Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • This undated photo provided by the Calgary Flames shows the inside of the Calgary Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta. The Saddledome, home to the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames, was flooded up to the 10th row, leaving the dressing rooms submerged.

  • This undated photo provided by the Calgary Flames shows the inside of the Calgary Saddledome, in Calgary, Alberta. The Saddledome, home to the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames, was flooded up to the 10th row, leaving the dressing rooms submerged.

  • A couple is silhouetted as they walk out of their flooded garage near the Elbow River in Calgary, Ab. Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • Alberta Premier Alison Redford surveys flood damage in downtown High River, Alta. on Saturday June 22, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • Photographers take photos of destroyed downtown shops in High River, Alta. on Saturday June 22, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • An excavator works on the Cougar Creek bed after it tore through Canmore, Alta., Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A convoy of military vehicles makes its way through a flooded highway before heading in to the flood zone in High River, Alta. on Saturday June 22, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • Military troops are briefed before heading in to the flood zone in High River, Alta. on Saturday June 22, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • Hutterites from the Parkland Colony survey the flood zone in High River, Alta. on Saturday June 22, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • A flooded Calgary Stampede is seen from above, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

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    A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • In this aerial photo, the flooded Cougar Creek runs through Canmore, Alberta, on Friday June 21, 2013. Communities throughout southern Alberta are dealing with overflowing rivers that have washed out roads and bridges, inundated homes and turned streets into dirt-brown tributaries. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • A man rides his bike as another picks his up in the flooded streets of Calgary, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013. Alberta's largest city was swamped Friday by floodwaters that submerged much of the lower bowl of the Saddledome hockey arena, displaced tens of thousands of people and forced the evacuation of the downtown core. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • PM tours floods in Alberta

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, walks to a waiting helicopter with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, right, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, for an aerial tour of flooding in Calgary, Alta.

  • A wall is reserved for messages and missing people at the arena in Blackie, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013 after the Highwood River, overflowed its banks Thursday. The Red Cross is using the arena to house evacuees of the High River flood. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

  • Displaced residents sleep on cots at the arena in Blackie, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013 after the Highwood River, overflowed its banks Thursday. The Red Cross is using the arena to house evacuees of the High River flood. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

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Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith tweeted this photo of the rising waters of the Highwood River.

"This is the view of the bridge over the Highwood. Normally there is a couple metres clearance below it. #ableg #wrp"

southern alberta flooding

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You can find updates on various communities and their flood status at Alberta Emergency Alert http://www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca/

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Cougar Creek in Canmore is completely overrun by floods. High River, Black Diamond and Calgary are also facing quickly rising water levels. The latest on evacuations and warnings can be found in our story.

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From the Alberta Emergency Alert:

All residents in north west, south west and north east High River are under mandatory evacuation. Crews are working to reach residents in the Vista Mirage area. Information will be posted on the High River website at www.highriver.ca.

Evacuate immediately. Please go to Highwood High School on 12th Ave where the emergency evacuation centre has been opened.

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From Alberta Emergency Alert:

There is localized flooding in Town, beginning near the Foothills Lions Campground. Hwy 22 is closed near that location. Residents west of 1st St SW are being evacuated to the Reception Centre (Oilfields Arena). Power outages may follow. The Water Treatment Plant has been shut down due to flood & safety concerns. Residents are requested to conserve water.

Door to door notification of the evacuation is taking place. Donations of towels and blankets can be made at the Arena. Food donations may be required later in the day. The town is currently investigating sources of bottled water. More information.

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From the City of Calgary:

The decision was made by Deputy Mayor Richard Pootmans and Ald. John Mar to declare a SOLE based on the potential severity of the incoming high river flows in conjunction with expected heavy rainfall. The City of Calgary has begun to implement its flood response plans with the deployment of sandbags and temporary dams at key locations to protect property and infrastructure. The City is working to ensure the safety of Calgarians and asks for their patience and cooperation during this time. Citizens are reminded to: · Stay away from rivers and creeks as the water is rising and moving quickly, and banks may be unstable. · Avoid storm water ponds and storm drains, and do not let children play near them. · Do not drive through flooded areas such as underpasses. · If you experience basement seepage or overland flooding, call 3-1-1 to report. · If you or someone else is in imminent danger, call 9-1-1. Remember that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only; please use 3-1-1 for reporting non-emergency issues.

· Monitor local media and City of Calgary messages. For more information on flooding, visit calgary.ca/flooding.

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cougar creek

Photo: Wade Graham, Facebook

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Cougar Creek threatens homes with its mighty surge.

Video: Wade Graham, Facebook

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cougar creek canmore

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From Alberta Emergency Alerts:

There is a hazardous materials release threatening life and the environment. An sour gas pipeline rupture has caused a release of H2S in the Town of Turner Valley. Residents are ordered to protect in place. Emergency crews have evacuated the affected areas and will continue to monitor.

Instructions:

Move indoors and stay indoors. Prepare for possible evacuation. Seek medical attention if you experience breathing difficulties. Follow the directions of local authorities.

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"The City of Calgary has declared a state of emergency as expected heavy rainfall combined with the potential of incoming high river flows could become severe.

The city is implementing its flood response plan with the deployment of sandbags and temporary dams to protect property and infrastructure.

Calgarians are advised to stay away from rivers and creeks as rising water may makes banks unstable.

Driving through flooded areas such as underpasses or children playing near storm water ponds and drains should also be avoided."

More here.

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cougar creek

Photo credit: Lauren Wheeler

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Turner Valley, a community southwest of Calgary, was placed under an emergency alert Thursday after a sour gas pipeline ruptured. The alert urged people to move indoors and to prepare for a possible evacuation.

What is sour gas, exactly, and what's the harm? Read more here.

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Our friends up the hill got in a bit of a pickle today when they headed to Canmore to cover the flooding.

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The Town of High River is now under an emergency evacuation alert. There is extremely dangerous and rapid flooding occurring in High River. Authorities are warning residents to move to high ground.

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There is a threat of extremely dangerous and rapid flooding in the County of Lethbridge. The County of Lethbridge declared a local state of emergency at 11:10 a.m. and issued an evacuation order for residents living in the Oldman River valley.

An evacuee reception centre is at the County Administration building at #100, 905 4th Avenue South downtown.

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