HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Up to 140 people have been forced from their homes due to flooding in an indigenous community in northwestern Alberta.
Chief Joe Pastion of the Dene Tha' First Nation says a state of emergency has been declared.
He says 120 to 140 people are being housed in the school in Chateh, one of three reserves that make up the First Nation.
Pastion says several days of heavy rain have caused Sousa Creek to overflow.
"There's about 20 to 30 houses flooded, not submerged. The approach to the homes, the roads, are washed out. You can't drive in for your safety, and the majority of those houses the power is out due to hazards. Our members will be losing a lot of their contents in their houses,'' Pastion said Thursday.
The chief said the First Nation is assessing the damage and determining what repairs need to be done.
"I'm grateful for the help we can get ... we need to make sure what we ask for is essential.''
Chateh has about 1,200 people and is about 90 kilometres west of High Level and 800 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
"The rain has stopped but the forecast for next three days is for more rain," Pastion said. "That's not good."
The chief said the community has had experience with disasters. A fire in 2012 in Meander River forced 200 people out and destroyed dozens of homes.
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