Edmonton welcomes 1,500 wildfire evacuees to Expo Centre

Those evacuating from Drayton Valley can head to Edmonton's Expo Centre. As Adam Ziccarelli reports, it was a smooth setup thanks to the experiences from the fires in 2016.

By News Staff

Edmonton has welcomed more than 1,500 Albertans evacuating Drayton Valley and Brazeau County due the wildfires threatening those communities.

The evacuees have registered at the Edmonton Expo Centre.

The City of Edmonton Reception Centre is providing temporary lodging, food, clothing, health care and animal care for evacuees.

As of late Sunday afternoon nearly 30,000 Albertans have been evacuated from their homes.

Danielle Smith, Rachel Notley and Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi visited the evacuation centre Sunday.

“There are a lot of families going through a difficult time right now,” Smith tweeted. “I want to thank the countless volunteers working around the clock to help those in need. Let’s continue to be kind and support one another.”

“It’s times like these that Albertans come together and support each other,” tweeted Notley.


What evacuees had to say:

Alyane Desjarlais

“At first we were told to head to Stony Plain first. From there we were like sittings ducks, and we didn’t know what to do from there. But then the morning we found out they had the evacuation centre here in Edmonton.

“Edmonton has great support, they had the food, clothing, places to rest, they get bedding for you.”

Terry Halleday

“Yeah the evacuation went really smooth. We only had 20 minutes’ notice to evacuate but everything seemed to go good, everybody was patient.

“The support was awesome in Edmonton, 100 per cent great.”

WATCH: Edmonton Expo Centre open for Drayton Valley evacuees

Some services provided:

Health: Canadian Red Cross, Alberta Health Services and a prescribing pharmacist are at the reception centre.

Insurance: Insurance companies are at the reception centre.

Animal care: Animal Care and Control Centre is providing temporary daytime care of pets. About 1,300 pets are registered.

Pet supplies: Pet food and supplies are available at the Edmonton Humane Society every day between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Donations of food and supplies are encouraged.

Fitness/wellness: Free access to showers and recreation facilities for evacuees at the Jamie Platz Family YMCA and the Castle Downs Family YMCA. Showers are also available at the Commonwealth Recreation Centre for registered evacuees.

—With files from Amal Mohamud

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