Mandatory evacuation order lifted for parts of Fort McMurray

More than 400 people have been permitted to return home to two Fort McMurray neighbourhoods placed under mandatory evacuation orders on Thursday.

Residents in Grayling Terrace and the south part of Draper Road are now under a voluntary evacuation notice.

The neighbourhoods had been evacuated amidst concern that erosion along Beacon Hill’s southwest side might cause river blockages, diverting the Hangingstone River into the residential areas.

A mandatory evacuation order remains in place for residents of the Ptarmigan Court Trailer Park.

Officials say they're doing everything possible to get people home as soon as they can.

Alberta Emergency Alert has downgraded the flood watch for the Hangingstone River to a high streamflow advisory.

A flood watch is still in effect for the Clearwater River and its tributaries, with flooding and erosion being reported where the Clearwater joins the Hangingstone River.

According to the Alberta Emergency Alert website, conditions are still being closely monitored in the area, as an additional 10 to 20 millimetres of rain is forecast for this weekend.

Premier Alison Redford visited the community Friday afternoon to learn more about the local state of emergency. While there, she met with volunteers filling sandbags and also took a tour of the emergency operations centre.

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