Devastating Floods Hit Alberta

By Chris Brady

Calgary Under Water

Calgary, Alberta's largest city is devastated after the largest flood to ever hit Alberta poured into the city streets on June 19, 2013. Nearly 220 millimetres of rain fell in 48 hours, nearly twice the city's annual rainfall, which flooded areas along the Bow and Elbow Rivers.

At the peak of the flooding, the Bow and Elbow rivers were flowing through Calgary at three times their peak levels. Between June 19-22, 2013 220 millimeters of rain fell in the Rocky mountains and foothills triggering the flooding.

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Four people have been confirmed dead as a direct result of the flooding and over 100,000 people were displaced from their homes throughout the region. Matthew Nichols, who was displaced from his home near the Bow river stated " It is nice to live close to a river until it starts running through your basement".Approximately 2.200 Canadian Forces troops were deployed to assist in flooded areas. Beds were set up in school gymnasiums and churches.

Alberta economic losses are expected to reach $4.7 billion US making it the third most costly natural disaster according to the Alberta insurance bureau. Many regions around the world were hit by floods in 2013. In May and June eastern Europe was hit with four days of heavy rain which impacted Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The eastern European losses were $4.8 billion.

A total of 32 local governments in southern and central Alberta declared states of local emergency as a result of the flooding. The Alberta provincial government is looking to Ottawa to provide Federal dollars of emergency funding to help Alberta recover from the worst natural disaster in their history.

July 2, 2013