ONLINE SPECIAL: Alberta floods snarl truck traffic, shut down swaths of downtown Calgary
June 21, 2013
CALGARY, Alta. -- Southern Alberta continues to struggle as rivers in the area spilled far over their banks thanks to a couple of days of heavy rain created what some are calling an unprecedented flooding situation. Flooding ranges from Red...
CALGARY, Alta. — Southern Alberta continues to struggle as rivers in the area spilled far over their banks thanks to a couple of days of heavy rain created what some are calling an unprecedented flooding situation. Flooding ranges from Red Deer in central Alberta to Lethbridge in the southern part of the province, and even through British Columbia’s east and west Kootenay regions.
Roads are closed in low lying areas – the city of Calgary advises people to stay away from the downtown core, and in fact police are working actively to prevent traffic, including trucks trying to make deliveries to the many businesses there, from entering the downtown core. Westbound exits from Deerfoot Trail – exits such as Blackfoot Trail and Memorial Drive that lead to the downtown core, have been closed and traffic is being rerouted to safer areas.
Needless to say, the situation is wreaking havoc on area businesses. Even one local radio station, whose studios are located in downtown Eau Claire, was evacuated, forcing it to simulcast programming from its sister station in Edmonton. As of 6:30 a.m. Friday, June 21 – ironically, the first day of Summer – a state of emergency still existed in the city of Calgary.
According to the City, the Elbow River downstream of the Glenmore dam is expected to crest early this morning and as it stands as of this writing, authorities anticipate the Bow River water levels will stay steady, though water levels in both the Elbow and the now-mighty Bow rivers are expected to remain extremely high for the next few days.
Schools, both separate and public, are closed and there’s no access through the downtown core via transit or C-train. The City’s Municipal buildings downtown are closed and the city asks all Calgarians asked to “refrain from non-essential travel.” As of 7:30 this morning, Enmax – the local utility – announced that power has been shut off in the many evacuated communities – some 100,000 people have been booted from their homes for the duration. Enmax admits it can’t isolate portions of the power grid by community, however, so Calgarians living in neighbourhoods bordering the evacuated communities may also be experiencing power outages.
Have you been affected by the flooding? Please feel free to post your experiences in the comments section.
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