100,000 flee flooding in Canada

June 21, 2013

CALGARY, Alberta – Flooding forced the evacuation on Friday of some 100,000 people in the western city of Calgary and nearby towns in the heart of the Canadian oil patch.

Schools were closed and the military sent in a dozen helicopters and 1,200 troops to help clear more than two dozen neighborhoods as heavy rains caused the Bow and Elbow Rivers in western Canada to overflow their banks.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi urged residents to gather their belongings and flee. He told them to expect to be away from their homes for a few days while police patrolled streets shouting evacuation orders over loudspeakers.

Electricity was cut in some parts of the city, and several roads and bridges were closed to traffic.

Firefighters swarmed residential neighborhoods, carrying stragglers out of homes through knee-high waters or in boats to safety.

A large swath of downtown that includes the iconic Saddledome, home of the National Hockey League Calgary Flames, and surrounding lands where the city was to host its annual Stampede rodeo in just 15 days, was flooded.

Damage was said to be extensive.

Calgary resident Adam Klamar said all of the city’s downtown was emptied of people by midday.

“It’s pretty empty now,” he said by telephone. “The whole downtown is on lockdown, they’re not letting anyone in or out, there’s only one or two routes still open.”

He said he has seen the odd person walking around, and a few cars drive by, but otherwise the city center is eerily quiet, with only the sounds of sirens heard against a backdrop of rain coming down.

“It’s still raining,” he lamented. “It looks like it’s getting worse. … It seems to be raining more than it was this morning. If it doesn’t stop raining it could get worse.”

With more rain forecast over the weekend, water levels are expected to continue rising in the city of one million people that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, before cresting.

Twelve communities in surrounding Alberta province meanwhile have declared a state of emergency, and mudslides forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway, isolating the mountain resort town of Banff.

Television footage showed swift currents carrying away cars and destroying homes in nearby towns. However no injuries or deaths have been reported.

Patients were also evacuated from two hospitals in Canmore and High River.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was expected to tour the flood ravaged regions, which includes his electoral district in Calgary, in the late afternoon.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

First Lady Claudia Dobles named as one of world’s greatest leaders
Costa Rica
12 views
Costa Rica
12 views

First Lady Claudia Dobles named as one of world’s greatest leaders

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 26, 2019

Costa Rica has one of the world’s greatest leaders in its midst. First Lady Claudia Dobles is ranked No. 15…

Costa Rica to begin administering HPV vaccine
Costa Rica
31 views
Costa Rica
31 views

Costa Rica to begin administering HPV vaccine

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 25, 2019

The Social Security System (CCSS) announced Wednesday that Costa Rica will begin administering the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine as…

Costa Rica approves law against child abuse prepared by alleged victims of priest
Costa Rica
13 views
Costa Rica
13 views

Costa Rica approves law against child abuse prepared by alleged victims of priest

AFP and The Tico Times - April 24, 2019

Costa Rica’s congress approved on Tuesday a bill that extends the statute of limitations for the crime of sexual abuse…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!