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A Canadian Armed Forces Griffon helicopter

TODD KOROL/Reuters

The Canadian government has dispatched two helicopters and an airplane to help rescue Alberta residents stranded by rising flood waters.

A CH-146 Griffon helicopter, stationed in Cold Lake, Alta., and a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter, based in Comox, B.C., were originally deployed to Canmore, Alta. Thursday afternoon. They were due to arrive in the vicinity of Canmore late afternoon Alberta time.

A C-130 tactical lift Hercules aircraft was also sent.

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A spokeswoman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the aircraft are for use wherever they are needed in southern Alberta.

Paloma Aguilar said the Canadian Armed Forces dispatched the helicopters and airplane after a request for help from RCMP in Alberta. Royal Canadian Mounted Police serve as the local police force in much of rural Alberta.

She said the aircraft are to be used to "aid efforts in extracting people who are stranded as a result of flooding waters."

There are also Canadian Armed Forces staff at Alberta's provincial emergency operations centre.

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