Yup.. the flooding here in Calgary is pretty bizarre.
For those who don't know, Calgary is a city of a bit more than 1 million people. We're located inland, just 80 miles from the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
There are two rivers that run through the city. Neither really "major rivers". But we've received a lot of rain this month, and this past few days many places were getting what would be average rainfall for the month of June, every hour.
This caused both rivers to overflow their banks, throughout the city. So, any areas in proximity to the rivers flooded, including several of the cities major roadways, and the entire downtown area (where many oil companies have their head offices.
100,000 people had to evacuate their homes. But the evacuations amazingly went very smoothly, without too many issues.
They are saying today that the entire downtown area will remain closed down until at least midweek.
Meanwhile we, as well as my son and daughter in law, and mother's homes are all just fine (except for some leaking of a sunroom roof at my mother's), and we were never in any danger.
Some of the smaller towns outside of the city were severely impacted. Whole towns evacuated, and one town just south, sadly 4 people lost their lives.
The only direct impact to me is the golf course I play at, which is located in a river valley, is pretty much under 8 or 10 ft. of water.
I was born here, and we've never witnessed anywhere near this type of flooding EVER before. Not even close.
The biggest event for the city is the Calgary Stampede... which is scheduled to begin in 10 days. The 20 acres where all the action takes place are entirely under water, so who knows how they are going to get that cleared out in time. The Stampede brings $345 million in tourism dollars into the city, so many people will be financially impacted if they can't pull it off.
There is no such thing as overland flood insurance in Canada. So, with flooding of this magnitude no doubt MANY people will be looking to the government for aid.
The rivers in the city have begun to recede, and many evacuees are being allowed to return.
Sadly, many are going to encounter flooded homes, and for them the process of recovery is just going to begin.
Communities down river (east) of the city are now experiencing flooding.
And, to the west, in the mountains, where a lot of damage was done, a major electric plant transformer has blown. There is now no power in the absolutely beautiful areas of Banff and Lake Louise (which many tourists would know). Crews are having trouble getting to the location of the plant to make repairs because the highways and roads in the area have been closed.
LF.. hopefully your friends aren't in the mountains, as the TransCanada highway, leading back to Calgary, is still closed. So they may have some difficulty getting back to the city.
So relieved to learn everything is okay with you. As you wrote, the flooding in Calgary is mind boggling. I've never heard of this type of flooding anywhere in your region. I was really surprised (probably more like stunned) to hear of your report as to the power loss in Banff and Lake Louise, two of the most stunningly beautiful areas in North America. One rarely would even think of flooding such as you describe in such an area.
Though I never shall, one thing on my bucket list was a cross country/continent train excursion. I've been enthralled with that area since as a child, reading a 1940's era "National Geographic"
I so hope that Calgary can do enough within the next ten days to salvage the Stampede.
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