Flood report for Calgary, etc.

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Flood report for Calgary, etc.
6
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 3:58pm

Calgary's flooding is slowly ending...the waters are receding - some people have been allowed to go home to what probably is a very wet dirty house if their's has been flooded.  And so the work begins for them and the city, as it also is having to clean up the downtown area where there's dirt and garbage, trees and branches and whatever else that got brought in by the flood waters.  My Dd's house may have been spared the flood - which would be amazing if that is the case.  Her home is so close to the Elbow river in the city and yet, from a photograph I saw in our newspaper, an aerial shot of her home's area of the city, it acutally looked like her house (which is in the photo) and a few others were spared flood waters!  One can only hope.  The photo shows water flooding a lot of the areas all around but her house and a few other buildings in that area are actually elevated on a higher piece of ground than the rest of the area - so the water didn't go there, but just to the areas on each side of this 'hill'. At least that is what the photo shows. 

She hasn't been back to her place as of yet.  She's staying with a friend (still in the downtown area but not where the flood reached).  Actually I'm having her come home today.   She phoned, she's sick and exhausted and I asked one of her brother's to go and get her.  I'm hoping that he'll be able to drive into the downtown area (which before was inaccessable), so he can go pick her up to bring her here.  Her work (restaurant/bar) is still closed with no power so she can't work anyway.  Ray has the minivan today and is away at the train club.  Michael is going to take our other car to visit his other brother, Patrick, before they both come back here for supper.  Eric is the Ds I asked to go get Christine.

If you are curious to see photos of the flooded areas of Southern Alberta, I am including a link to the National Post website that has a lot of photos taken of the flooded areas, in Calgary, also in a town south of here, High River, and also a few photos from Canmore - a town in the mountains where a small creek turned into a raging river and maybe there's some photos or video of a small town west of here, Bragg Creek which was also hit by raging flood waters.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/06/20/pictures-and-videos-of-massive-flooding-in-canmore-and-southern-alberta/

That's all for now.

Shirley

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 7:52pm

Wow - devastating.  What's this from? Just high spring water, or a specific event?

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 8:05pm

Thanks for the update Shirley. I hope that you are correct and Christine's building was not affected...well any more than a refrigerator full of rotten food from no electricity. Hopefully she will be able to get in there soon to assess the situation. In the meantime its very nice that she has you to go to, for home cooking and TLC. I'm sure it is extremely stressful for her. I remember hearing from my dd after Hurricane Sandy when her building lost all utilities (for a month) due to storm surge getting in the basement. Her unit was dry but cold and dark, and so much of life in general was disrupted that the overall effect was very upsetting. I sure hope that for Christine, things return to normal quickly. Is her workplace in an area that had flooding?

Isn't the Stampede supposed to take place in a couple of weeks? Will they be able to have it this year? I heard that a stadium or arena had flooding to the 10th row of seats, is that a venue used for the Stampede? I guess it will take a while for all of the effects to be realized and felt. I'm glad that at least your home was not affected.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 8:36pm

It was caused by a rare meteologyical event called an "upside-down" jet steam. It was fueled by moist air from the Gulf of Mexico that stalled over the rockeries. Too much rain for the creeks and rivers to handle.

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 8:38pm

Well, every spring the water from the mountain rivers...mostly we are talkign the two major rivers in Calgary, the Bow river and the Elbow river, bring meltwater from the snows in the mountains.  The rivers levels usually rise somewhat and normally don't pose a problem.  But June happens to be our rainiest month.  So the rain adds to the river water levels.  Then on Wednesday last we (the mountain regions too) had a HUGE rainstorm.  A huge amount of rain fell within a few hours with the storm, and that was around 10:00 p.m. and then it continued to rain all night.  So a very large amount of rain fell to make the river water just rise more than it's ever done before (or at least since 1932 when there was a flood of similar size then).  I think that explains it.  Because so much rain fell, the rivers rose very quickly and people had to be evacuated quickly.  I'm not sure exactly the situation in the town of High River south of Calgary which really was terribly devastated and the water from the High river just came into the town so swiftly.  That first few photos of that guy and his cat swimming after being deluged in his truck was from High River.  You can see how fast the water was -  how quickly it must have engulfed his truck that he needed to escape like that. Three people in HIgh River lost their lives to that flood.

Shirley

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Mon, 06-24-2013 - 11:04am

You are right about the Saddledome stadium, it has been flooded to the 10th row of seats.  I don't know how the Stampede will be impacted, but the mayor does seem to imply that the Stampede will go on...but maybe it won't be quite like other years in some ways!  The C-train tracks in a portion of downtown, where the flood waters hit them are a wreck and have to be repaired.  So transit is affected that way not allowing passage to the downtown area.  And well, so much depends on public transit for the Stampede visitors!  Just getting the downtown up and running before then...well, I guess it can be done as it's started already...streets being cleaned, but some repairs too have to be done on the roadways, streets.  Christine's workplace/restaurant has been closed all this time due to power outage (which is affecting a good portion of the downtown area) and she isn't clear if the place got flooded, though it is far enough away from the rivers that it may not have. 

But so many people now are beginning the horrid job of clearing out their basements (if not more than that) of removing wet dirty carpeting and ruined furniture from their homes.  So many homes impacted by this flooding than ever before in Calgary's history. 

Yes, the Stampede begins on Friday, July 5th, typically with the Stampede parade.  

Shirley

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Wed, 06-26-2013 - 11:44am

Now we are getting all the news,photos in the newspaper and on television about the efforts to clean up, the damage that was done by the flood. People are discouraged from going to see the effects of the flood themselves, although apparently there are curious gawkers who drive close or into the downtown areas just to see first-hand what things are like.  But most of us, untouched by the flood here in Calgary, just see things through photos and television coverage.  And even to see that is shocking.  Street pavement torn up, some bridges broken, cars tossed about, houses dangerously close to the banks of the river - their earth carved away by the floodwaters.  And mud...fine silty mud everywhere!  The garbage/items coming out of houses that have been flooded piled into dumpsters - just phenomenal.  The zoo, which is located on an island in the Bow river was completely flooded.  Animals were moved to safety (well, not even so the best places as there was only so far and so quickly they could be moved to somewhat  higher ground) as fast as they could before the water rose too high.  The two hippos were left in their water enclosures (inside a building) but the water level rose so high that the water level was up near a window high in the building and the window got broken somehow and it was possible that the hippos could have gone through that window, but they didn't!  Can you imagine two hippos swimming away down the Bow river? 

Calgary's downtown area is basically surrounded by water...the Bow river snakes around the perimeter of the downtown and there is the Elbow river that crosses through it.  As so often happens, when towns are originally built - they often are built near water sources, as Calgary was.  It has expanded outward since.  But if rivers are going to overflow - well, I guess you could say that downtown Calgary is pretty much all a flood plain.  However in all its history, there may have only been one time there was anything close to this sort of flooding in downtown Calgary. 

Shirley