PEACE RIVER, Alta. - A flood warning has been issued for the rain-swollen Smoky River near the Hamlet of Watino in northwestern Alberta.

Birch Hills County has declared a state of local emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation order for people in the remote area.

The county says people should leave immediately and report to a reception centre at Tangent Community Hall.

Reeve Gerald Manzulenko says the safety and well-being of residents is the top priority.

The county is urging people to stay away from river edges and low–lying areas.

The county has a population of about 1,600.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 3, 2020

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