Officials in the eastern Alberta city of Medicine Hat believe water levels on the South Saskatchewan River have peaked and that flooding won't be as severe as initially feared.

Roughly 10,000 people were evacuated as the city of 60,000 prepared for the surge of water that swamped Calgary and surrounding areas last week.

The water has managed to top sandbag barriers in some areas of the Medicine Hat, flooding some neighborhoods, but some of the defenses remain dry Monday, according to a statement issued by the city government.

In Calgary, the mayor announced that 65,000 residents who had been ordered to evacuate were being allowed to return to assess the damage.

Three bodies have been recovered since the flooding began in southern Alberta.