June 22, 2013 – Flooding forces 75,000 from western Canadian homes: Flooding forced the western Canadian city of Calgary to order the evacuation of its entire downtown yesterday, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city’s hockey arena. Pictured above, a police car sits stuck in a parking lot of an apartment building after heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Flooding forced the western Canadian city of Calgary to order the evacuation of its entire downtown yesterday, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city’s hockey arena.
Overflowing rivers washed out roads and bridges, soaked homes and turned streets into dirt-brown waterways across southern Alberta. The police said as many as four people may have died.
About 350,000 people work in downtown Calgary on a typical day. However, officials said very few people needed to be moved out, since many heeded warnings and did not go to work yesterday.
Twenty-five neighborhoods in the city, with an estimated population of 75,000, were already evacuated due to floodwaters in Calgary, a city of more than a million people that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics and serves as the center of Canada’s oil industry.
Outside the city, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said two men were seen floating lifeless in the Highwood River near the hard-hit community of High River on Thursday, but no bodies had been found. They also said a woman who was swept away with her camper had not been located. And it wasn’t clear whether a man who was seen falling out of a canoe in the High River area was able to climb back in.
In downtown Calgary, water was inundating homes and businesses in the shadow of skyscrapers.
The city said the home rink of the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames flooded and the water inside was 10 rows deep.
“I think that really paints a very clear picture of what kinds of volumes of water we are dealing with,” said Trevor Daroux, the city’s deputy police chief.
At the grounds for the world-famous Calgary Stampede fair, water reached the roofs of the chuck wagon barns. The popular rodeo and festival is the city’s signature event. Mayor Naheed Nenshi said it will occur no matter what.
About 1,500 people have gone to emergency shelters while the rest have found shelter with family or friends, Nenshi said.
Nenshi said he’s never seen the rivers reach so high or flow so fast, but said the flooding situation was as under control as it could be. Nenshi said the Elbow River, one of two rivers that flow through the southern Alberta city, had peaked.
The flood was forcing emergency plans at the Calgary Zoo, which is situated on an island near where the Elbow and Bow rivers meet. Lions and tigers were being prepared for transfer, if necessary, to prisoner holding cells at a courthouse. (Credits – The Concord Monitor and The Associated Press).
The Master of Disaster