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Canadian Armed Forces assist with flood-relief efforts in Alberta

OPLENTUS13

Canadian Armed Forces troops will begin winding down Operation Lentus across Alberta this week as rising river waters peak and start to recede.

The Department of National Defence was called in to support Public Safety Canada in order to provide assistance to flood-affected areas of the province.

Over 2,200 Forces personnel were deployed around southern Alberta, and Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft and crews were involved in search and rescue and evacuation efforts.

The CF report that they rescued 31 people during the initial stages of the evacuation. Three helicopters were used to assist people in the High River area, south of Calgary, with six more to still to be deployed.

“The Canadian Armed Forces are in full support of the Province of Alberta and its partners in responding to this emergency situation. Our primary focus right now is to help protect those living in the regions affected by this flooding,” said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, in a release. “We will also work with other first responders and levels of government to help ensure our people and platforms can be appropriately brought to bear where they are needed most, whether that be in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, or helping to provide added search and rescue coverage.”

350 members of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry from Edmonton have been assisting the local RCMP in accessing homes in High River, and helicopters have been patrolling areas including Canmore and Kananaskis.

“The province of Alberta has asked the government of Canada for help, and our specialized skills, equipment, and expertise will assist provincial authorities in their efforts,” said Defence Minister Peter MacKay in a DND press release. “The men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces have proven time and time again that they are always ready and able to help ensure the safety and security of Canada and Canadians.”

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