Mass Evacuations in W Canada amid Worst Flooding in 90 Years
Posted by feww on June 21, 2013
Widespread flooding in W Canada could force 100,000 people out of their homes
More than 100,000 people in in Calgary alone been sent evacuation orders or notices as widespread flooding in the region intensifies, Calgary city officials said.
Update: Jun 21, 2013 7:00 AM ET ppp
- At least 80,000 people have been evacuated from more than two dozen Calgary neighborhoods, so far.
- Up to 30mm of rain is forecast across the region on Friday.
- At least 12 communities in the province are under states of emergency, and 30 communities are under mandatory evacuation.
Calgary declares state of emergency, first of its kind in 90 years
Extreme rain events and severe flooding throughout southern Alberta on Thursday have washed out many roads, bridges and entire houses, reports said.
About 7,000 people were ordered to leave their homes in Calgary on Thursday as heavy rainfall across southern Alberta swelled the Elbow and Bow rivers, prompting the city’s first state of emergency declaration in more than 90 years.
States of emergency have also been declared in several other towns and more than a dozen communities.
More than 2 dozen communities in and around Calgary, which lie along the flooded rivers, have been evacuated.
- Mandatory and immediate evacuations have been ordered for areas along the Elbow River including communities of The evacuation orders cover the communities of Beltline, Bonnybrook, Bowness, Bridgeland Industrial Area, Chinatown, Eau Claire, Cliff Bungalow, Deer Run, Discovery Ridge, Downtown, East Village, Elbow Park, Erlton, Inglewood, Hillhurst, Mission, Montgomery, Quarry Park, Rideau, Riverbend, Riverdale, Roxboro, Stanley Park, Elboya, Sunnyside, Victoria Park, Westmount and Windsor Park.
Water levels on the Elbow could top twice those of the last large deluges in 2005, said Calgary’s director of water services.
“It’s actually one of the most significant flood events this city has ever experienced,” said a city alderman. “This is a state of emergency, the first in this municipality since the 1920s.”
Meantime, mudslides have forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway, cutting off access to the mountain resort towns of Banff and Canmore.
- The mountain town of Canmore, about 100 km west of Calgary declared a state of emergency.
- A resident of Canmore who as waken up by a “kind of rumbling” sound in the middle of the night, and realized it was the flooded nearby creek said:”At first it was just intense, pretty powerful, amazing thing to watch.””As daylight came, it just got bigger and bigger and wider and wider, and it’s still getting bigger and bigger and wider and wider.” Wade Graham told CBC.”
- “I watched a refrigerator go by. I watched a shed go by. I watched couches go by. It’s insane,” he added.
- Looking from my bedroom window directly at Grotto Mountain, “which has no waterfalls on it ever, I can count seven major waterfalls from here.” He said.
- High River, a town about 70 km south of Calgary, also declared a state of emergency, as High River submerged a great portion of town under several feet of water.
- Hamlet of Bragg Creek, 44 km west of Calgary, was evacuated as the Elbow River surged.
- Residents of Redwood Meadows were told to abandon their properties.
- Parts of the Crowsnest Pass are being evacuated as water levels continue to rise.
Record flooding in Alberta
Record flooding in the heart of the Alberta tar sands dramatically illustrates their threat to Canada’s ‘Serengeti’, the Mackenzie River basin. Only days before this week’s flooding in Fort McMurray, a panel of international science experts warned that the nearly 200 square kilometres of toxic wastewater lakes near rivers like the Athabasca pose a direct threat one of the world’s most important ecosystems http://desmog.ca/2013/06/13/fort-mcmurray-flooding-emphasizes-tar-sands-threat-mackenzie-river-basin
House Smashes Against Bridge | Bragg Creek Alberta Flood 20/06/2013
Sour gas well rupture
In Turner Valley, southwest of Calgary, a sour gas wellhead ruptured at the same time as the town dealt with fast-rising flood waters in the Sheep River.
Turner Valley Coun. Barry Williamson said the pipeline was struck by river debris, adding that an evacuation was ordered for residences in the area.
The rupture caused a release of sour gas containing hydrogen sulfide (H2S) — a colourless, flammable gas that smells like rotten eggs — but officials have said the risk is now contained. Air quality monitoring at the point of the rupture isn’t detecting dangerous sour gas levels. CBC
Flood zones across Canada: Major deluges mapped from 2002-2011