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Environment Canada says a low-pressure system is expected to bring up to 70 millimetres of rain Wednesday in the southwestern foothills before tapering off Thursday morning. The total rainfall in that area may exceed 200 millimetres.
Alberta's director of river forecasting, Evan Friesenham, said they're predicting a peak flow in the South Saskatchewan River of 5,300 cubic metres per second in Medicine Hat, about the same as in 2013. "Obviously that's a worst-case scenario," he said. "As the storm progresses and we have more information on the ground, we'll be refining forecasts throughout the basin and throughout the southern portion of the province as we go."
Lethbridge County has declared a state of local emergency, saying water levels in the Oldman River are extremely high and could rise to 1995 flood levels. The river may rise 6 meters based on the forecast and the preliminiary operational plans of the dams upstream.