City keeps flood measures in place as second storm system approaches

Content of the article

City officials say they are keeping flood mitigation measures in place in anticipation of another storm system that could hit Calgary next week.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

Calgary Water Services Director Francois Bouchart said forecasts said 50-100mm of rain would fall on Monday and continue through Tuesday, causing water levels in rivers to peak the day after the end of the rain.

The uncertainty of early forecasts and models means the storm could completely miss Calgary, Bouchart acknowledged, but he said it would pose a risk of flooding if it materialized.

“If we were to get a 70mm rain event, it would give flows that would endanger the Bowness and Sunnyside areas, just as our forecast earlier this week indicated,” he said.

“I want to emphasize that the risk is there, and so we are taking every possible precaution to ensure that we remain prepared and responsive.”

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the city is maintaining its local state of emergency, declared on Monday. The statement gives the city additional powers to respond to flood risks, including allowing officials to go door-to-door to notify Calgarians of evacuation orders and giving water crews access to property to protect critical infrastructure. It will stay for two weeks unless canceled earlier.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

Flood mitigation infrastructure put in place during this week’s fall will remain in place, including the temporary berm built on Memorial Drive, closing the main road between 10th Street NW and Edmonton Trail NE

The city will create an opening in this berm to reopen traffic on Memorial Drive, however, with one lane of traffic in each direction expected to open Friday morning. Calgary Emergency Management Agency chief Sue Henry said the decision was made to improve access to the area for community members and emergency vehicles, but he did not It was not immediately clear whether through traffic would be allowed on the road.

City of Calgary crews construct an earth berm on Memorial Drive as flood protection on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Gavin Young/Postmedia
City of Calgary crews construct an earth berm on Memorial Drive as flood protection on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Gavin Young/Postmedia Gavin Young/Postmedia

“(The berm) was intended to protect the residents and neighboring communities of the Bow…We understand that the berm creates traffic issues,” Gondek said. “We will create a few lanes of traffic, temporarily creating a division in the berm. This is something that can be fairly easily replenished if there is flood mitigation that is needed.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

The temporary clay berm, which spans 88 meters near 3rd Street NW and connects to an existing flood barrier, cost about $115,000 to build, but Gondek said it protected about 53 million dollars of property. City officials were unable to provide an estimate of the cost to maintain or remove the berm.

One factor that helped Calgary avoid flooding earlier this week was precipitation falling as snow in the Rocky Mountains, preventing it from flowing immediately downstream into the city.

But that snowfall and the aftermath of the recent deluge has put Calgary at high risk of flooding from upcoming storms, Bouchart said.

“We know this basin is now ready for high flows,” he said. “Rain on snow will increase the precipitation we see falling in the basin, and that is why we are taking every precaution possible.”

The city also reopened three municipal parks that were closed on Tuesday due to the risk of flooding: Prince’s Island Park, St. Patrick’s Island and Bowness Park. Rideau Park remains closed.

Twitter: @jasonfherring

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Leave a Comment