Did you know heavy rainfall upstream of Calgary can make up 80 per cent of the river flow during a flood? A single day of heavy rainfall in the mountains, combined with a melting snowpack can change river flows enough to cause flooding in Calgary.
During the spring, we’re monitoring conditions all the time, but the mountains can change our weather quickly and we may have less than 24 hours to really confirm what’s coming. That’s why it’s so important we’re all prepared.
Starting in mid-May, visit calgary.ca/floodinfo for a daily quick snapshot of the river conditions along with details on the days’ forecast. We’ll let you know how we’re responding to the current conditions, and what actions you may need to take to be prepared based on the current and forecast conditions. Be sure to check it out and sign up for our e-newsletter to get information every week!
Since the 2013 flood, we’ve invested in dedicated infrastructure to protect Calgarians, reducing our flood risk by more than 50 per cent.
What’s new along the Elbow & Bow Rivers?
This spring, construction is underway on the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir. Together with the higher gates at the Glenmore Dam, they will protect Elbow River communities from a 2013 flood. It’s expected to be operational in 2024 and fully complete in 2025.
The downtown flood barrier is in place that will protect Downtown, Chinatown, East Village and Eau Claire communities from a 1:200 flood, creating a continuous flood barrier from the Peace Bridge to Reconciliation Bridge. The rest of the improvements planned for the Eau Claire Promenade will be completed by next year.
In Sunnyside, work is underway to pursue an integrated vision to improve the entire public space surrounding Memorial Drive from 14th Street to Centre Street while adding critical flood protection. Construction on the flood barrier component is expected to start in 2023 and be completed by 2025.
The Government of Alberta is continuing to evaluate the feasibility of three sites for an upstream reservoir on the Bow River with the study expected to be completed in 2023. An upstream reservoir is at least 14+ years away but is critical for communities along the Bow River. The outcome of the Government of Alberta’s plans will influence our actions moving forward in remaining Bow River communities that are at risk of flooding.
How you can be ready too
Understand. Use our online interactive flood map to see if you live or work in an area at risk.
- Review your insurance. Learn about the different coverages available for overland flooding and your eligibility.
- Move valuables and documents out of your basement.
- Clean out your eavestroughs, downspouts and drainage gutters.
- Check your sump pump and backflow preventer valve if you have one.
- Be ready with a 72-hr kit and an emergency plan if you need to leave quickly.
- Know how to quickly turn off your water, gas and electricity mains.
- Park vehicles on higher ground.
Stay informed. Follow local media and sign-up for emergency alerts.
For details, visit calgary.ca/floodinfo