Floodwaters recede in Fort McMurray, Alberta

June 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM

ALBERTA, Alberta, June 15 (UPI) -- A mandatory evacuation notice in a flood-stricken town in western Canada was downgraded to a voluntary one Saturday for most of Fort McMurray, officials said.

Residents of a trailer park in the Albertan town were still under a mandatory order, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Alison Redford, the provincial premier, toured Fort McMurray on Friday afternoon, CTV said. She met with emergency workers and volunteers.

"The first day off school and this is what they're doing: filling sandbags," she said. "It's an amazing community. Every single time I come here, I'm impressed."

The flooding began to recede Friday, a day after the evacuation orders were lifted. By Friday, more than 400 people had registered at emergency shelters.

Fort McMurray, once a hamlet in northern Alberta, has grown to a town of more than 60,000 with exploitation of its oil sands.

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