Calgary declares a state of local emergency as part of flood preparedness

With heavy rains expected and possible flooding, a local state of emergency has been declared in Calgary and will be in place for 14 days, Mayor Jyoti Gondek announced on Monday.

“I realize this can cause some fear, some anxiety in the calgarines, especially those who went through this in 2013,” he said.

“I can tell you’re in good hands.”

The order can be rescinded or renewed, “as needed,” Gondek said, and is being done “out of extreme caution.”

Several roads have been closed along the Bow and Elbow Rivers, water pumps have been placed, and the Glenmore Reservoir has been reduced in anticipation of heavy rains in Calgary.

The city has created an online mapping tool that shows the areas of Calgary most affected by the floods.

The declaration of local state of emergency was made for several reasons, Gondek said.

“First, it allows the Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Fire Department, as needed, to go door-to-door to warn people that they may be under an evacuation order. It has not yet been called. this order, but if we have to do it, evacuate people, this allows the police and firefighters to advise people on the properties that may be affected. “

The city of Calgary has created an online map showing the areas affected by the floods. (Courtesy of Calgary City)

It also allows members of the city’s water services team to access properties as needed to protect critical infrastructure and offers “purchasing flexibility” in the city.

Gondek said the current levels of the Bow River and the Elbow River are “significantly lower” than during the 2013 flood.

However, some businesses are being proactive, including the River Cafe in Prince’s Island Park, which has been closed in the event of a flood in the coming days, with staff removing perishable food on Monday afternoon, along with a large col- lation. wine selection.

“After two devastating floods, we can’t wait and see what happens,” says owner Sal Howell. “We have friends in the community who will help us store our food and wine until the river has receded.”

Rain warnings, as well as flood warnings, are also in effect in the foothills, via Banff, Kananaskis and Exshaw.

Although rainfall forecasts vary, CTV News meteorologist Kevin Stanfield says 80 to 100 millimeters of rain is expected to fall in the early hours of Wednesday, while some areas could see more than 150mm.

Since the 2013 flood, more than $ 150 million has been invested in mitigation projects, which has reduced the risk of flooding by 55%, according to city officials.

Some of these projects include:

  • Construction of new permanent flood barriers along Heritage Drive, along Eau Claire next to downtown, Inglewood and Calgary Zoo;
  • New 2.5-meter-high steel gates at Glenmore Dam, which doubled its water storage capacity so it could hold more water and release it at a slower rate into the Elbow River;
  • Construction of elevation station, drainage improvements, and rainwater trunk improvements in several neighborhoods established to reduce the risk of localized flooding due to heavy rainfall;
  • Improvements in the resilience of multiple stormwater outlets to prevent subsequent flooding in affected communities and;
  • Bridge upgrades to maintain access and prevent damage during high flow events.

Downtown Calgary’s flood barrier is also complete and goes from the Peace Bridge to the Reconciliation Bridge and construction has begun on the Springbank Reservoir west of the city.

The protection established over the past nine years reduces Calgary’s flood risk by 55%, according to the city.

Experts still recommend that people remove valuable items and documents from basements if you are near flood-prone areas and test landfill pumps to make sure they are working properly.

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