Roads and properties on the Sikisika Nation are being impacted by flooding from the rapid snow melt and officials have declared a State of Local Emergency for the area.

Officials say the Nation is trying to mitigate rising water and keep it from entering homes and flooding roads.

In a release the Nation said it has ‘identified that there is a risk to people, property and infrastructure’ and that it is working to ‘plan and execute an emergency response plan’ to protect properties and businesses from flooding

Officials say several roads are washed out and that has hindered access to the area for emergency vehicles and school buses.

There are about 500 kilometres of road on the Siksika Nation and most of them are not paved so people who live there are having issues getting in and out of their properties.

“We’re at the crisis stage now so we’re going to call in our resources, we have to do financing, whatever it takes. Our Nation members come first so we’re putting a hold on other programs, other matters that are coming up and concentrating on this so, with the advice from our management team, we’ll be prioritizing what needs to be done right away,” said Chief Joseph Weasel Child. “The ground is still frozen so all the water is staying on top and is not dissipating and then with the snowfall we had yesterday, it created even more problems so right now this flooding is impacting our communities, roads throughout the reserve.”

The Nation is posting updates on its website and officials are expected to hold a news conference to provide an update on the situation on Tuesday morning.

Local States of Emergency have also been called in Vulcan County, Lethbridge County, Forty Mile County, Willow Creek and the MD of Taber because of overland flooding.