Edmonton Journal - July 11, 2013

 

Wildrose Leader and High River resident Danielle Smith wants the province to extend the state of emergency that was declared when the town was flooded, but it doesn’t appear that’s going to happen. Smith said town council is not ready to take over the operation of the town — which she says is still far from being back to normal — and many councillors are still dealing with their own flooded homes and businesses.

“We’re not anywhere near past the emergency,” she said Wednesday. “We’re not anywhere near normal.”

Several councillors and residents have told her they would like to see the emergency status continue, she said. Many residents are still out of their homes and those who have returned don’t have hot water heaters or furnaces. There’s no garbage pickup and only parts of the community have mail delivery, Smith said...Continue reading here.

CBC News - July 8, 2013

 

Those hoping to enjoy warm weather rafting on the Bow and Elbow rivers this summer will have to keep waiting. Officials say it will be weeks before Calgary's rivers open up for recreational use. The fire department still needs to assess the safety of the rivers and riverbanks — and what they find will determine when the rivers open.

"We know there's going to have to be stability work done on a number of the banks on the river, so the reality is we're a long distance right now from being able to say it's safe to be on the rivers or that it's safe really to be on the riverbanks," said Bruce Burrell, head of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA).

In some cases, fire crews will have to walk sections of the riverbanks to assess unsafe conditions or to remove a tangled mass of fallen trees and brush, Burrell said. In addition to damage from raging waters,

...

CBC News - July 9, 2013

People in danger of losing their homes after flood waters eroded parts of Lac des Arcs last month say they've been asking the province to help reinforce the riverbank for years.

The swollen Bow River washed away huge chunks of land in the hamlet 90 kilometres west of Calgary, leaving several homes perched precariously next to the water.

The Municipal District of Bighorn asked the provincial and federal governments for money to stabilize the riverbank in 2008, but no funding was provided...Click here to continue reading. 

Rocky View Weekly - July 8, 2013

The Little Creeks and Rough Fescue Association Society (LCRFA) hosted an information session June 29 to present the results of its baseline water monitoring project on Horse Creek to area residents.

To showcase the issue first hand, the meeting was held on LCRFA President Sarah Leete’s property north west of Cochrane. It was attended by about 15 landowners in the Horse Creek Valley who were concerned about the future of creeks and lakes in the Cochrane area.

Leete said the baseline water monitoring project is a means to educate the public about the impacts of land use and importance of good water quality...Click here to continue reading.

The Observer - July 6, 2013

Peak oil has generated headlines in recent years, but the real threat to our future is peak water. There are substitutes for oil, but not for water. We can produce food without oil, but not without water.

We drink on average four quarts (4.5 litres) of water per day, in one form or another, but the food we eat each day requires 2,000 quarts of water to produce, or 500 times as much. Getting enough water to drink is relatively easy, but finding enough to produce the ever-growing quantities of grain the world consumes is another matter.

Grain consumed directly supplies nearly half of our calories. That consumed indirectly as meat, milk, and eggs supplies a large part of the remainder. Today roughly 40% of the world grain harvest comes from irrigated land. It thus comes as no surprise that irrigation expansion has played a central role in tripling the world

...

CBC Calgary - July 5, 2013

 

Heavy rain that passed over Calgary created flash floods in neighbourhoods still recovering from recent damage. The rain from the severe thunderstorm has subsided, but water is still sitting in some areas.

"We expect this will drain quickly when rain stops," tweeted Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Emergency crews responded to flooding around the city, including in Sunnyside, where many homes were evacuated when the Bow River spilled its banks June 20. Others areas affected include Victoria Park, Mission and other parts of Calgary's Beltline. Traffic in many areas of the city had also come to a crawl because of huge puddles of water pooling on busy Calgary roads and underpasses...Contine reading here.

CBC Calgary - July 6, 2013

 

While work is underway on temporary sties in High River and Calgary for people displaced by flooding, they will not open by the expected dates.

The High River Saddlebrook neighbourhood was expected to open on July 7 and the Great Plains site in Calgary was meant to be ready for occupancy on July 13.

However, the province says the sites are in need of more work before residents can move into the units...Click here to read more.

High River Times - July 4, 2013

While Calgary had Mission:Possible, High River is the sequel, with volunteers being transported from the big city to small town Alberta in an attempt to help residents with their flood recovery efforts.

Albertans are flocking to High River from across the province to help with the clean up. Already, more than 900 volunteers have registered to help clean up the community.

Shuttle busses leave Mount Royal University and Bishop O'Byrne High School to the Mission Possible 2 volunteer staging grounds in High River. These busses leave every two hours starting at 9 a.m. and the final bus departs at 4 p.m...Continue reading here.

CBC News - July 5, 2013

Testing of water in Calgary's Bow River has found high levels of the deadliest form of E. coli after flooding hit the city two weeks ago.

CBC News paid for analysis of river water to see how it has been affected by the catastrophic flooding that hit the area this year, sending huge volumes of sewage and runoff into the river.

Chris Bolton with Benchmark Labs in Calgary said he found high levels of E. coli O157 — the deadliest strain of the bacteria.The sample, which was collected from the Bow River next to the Bonnybrook outfall pipe, also exceeded the guidelines for nitrate, dissolved solids and turbidity...Click here to read more. 

CBC News - July 2, 2013

Calgary officials say it will cost at least $256.5 million to repair damage from the flooding that devastated parts of the city last month.

The preliminary estimates were discussed by aldermen on the finance committee, which met Tuesday in a temporary space in the city’s northeast because city hall in downtown Calgary is not yet fully open.

Damage to the city hall complex will cost $26.5 million to repair, officials said. The historic sandstone building will not reopen until late July or even August...Click here to read more. 

Fort McMurray Today - July 2, 2013

Residents with flood damage can start applying for relief Tuesday.

Fort McMurray MLAs Don Scott and Mike Allen announced the Wood Buffalo Disaster Recovery Program Saturday. According to Scott, homeowners who received uninsurable damage can apply for relief by filling out a form at the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo starting July 2.

"We said we would do everything in our power to support recovery and reconstruction across our province from north to south," Scott said at the announcement, held outside of a Home Hardware closed after flood waters rose up to its sidewalks. "I'm here to reassure you that this includes the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo." ...Continue reading here. 

CTV News - July 3, 2013

Following the devastating flooding of the past two weeks, residents and businesses of the town of High River are in need of assistance.

Public access from Highway 2 to the northwest, southwest and business corridor sections of the town has resumed.

Two volunteer staging areas have been created within the town to coordinate the volunteer effort and to supply support to the residents:

  • The Welcome Centre (NW High River) – located at the rodeo grounds
  • Sheppard Family Park ( SW High River) – corner of 12 Ave. and 5 St. S.E.

Continue reading the article here.

CBC News - July 3, 2013 

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the local state of emergency issued for Calgary when floods hit the city June 20 will likely end Thursday.

A state of emergency means that a municipality can circumvent bylaws, implement lane reversals on roads and spend money without pre-approval by council, and gives the city power to conscript resources as needed.

When explaining what that means, Nenshi used the example of a fence that needs reinforcing. We can go to the Home Depot and steal their fence, and use it without asking,” said Nenshi when addressing media last week.

The city says it does not have a timeline for when blue cart recycling services will be restored, but officials are hopeful it will be next week...Click here for more. 

Friday & Saturday, June 28-29, 2013

"Finding Higher Ground"  Treaty 7 Benefit Concert

Details: This two-day fundraiser concert is featuring Susan Aglukark and George Leach, plus many others! The event is taking place at Buffalo Run Golf Course, Tsuu T’ina Nation, Alberta, from 2 p.m. – 10:30 p.m on both days. Entry is $10

For more information,visit their Facebook page. 

Saturday June 29, 2013

Mission Flood Relief Fundraiser

Details: A free barbecue, with live music and a clothing and housewares drive, will take place right in the heart of Mission. Fun activities for kids includes face-painting and crafting. The event will take place from 4 pm - 9:30 p.m.  From12 noon until 4 p.m., volunteers will be meeting for a community clean up. 

For more information, click here. 

Bragg Creek "Flood of Relief" Fundraiser 

Details: BCCA is holding a family social event to open the floor for conversation,

...

Calgary Herald - June 26, 2013 

Flood waters that devastated southern Alberta have left some First Nations communities “in an almost total state of destruction,” according to Treaty 7’s grand chief.

Chief Charles Weaselhead said the level of devastation is so high, the rebuilding process will take years and cost millions of dollars.

“Those hit hardest include the Siksika Nation east of Calgary and Eden Valley of the Stoney Nation, who are also under an evacuation order and dealing with waterlogged homes,” Weaselhead told reporters Tuesday...Click here to read more.  

The Drumheller Mail - June 26, 2013 

Drumheller got a morale boost from the provincial government on Monday, June 24. Late in the afternoon, the Honourable Richard Starke, MLA Vermilion-Lloydminster and Minister of Tourism, Parks, and Recreation, flew to Drumheller to tour the town’s emergency preparedness.

"I think what I’m particularly grateful for is the level of teamwork and preparedness shown by all the authorities here. There’s been a great deal of cooperation to minimize damage and destruction,” said Starke.

“I’d like to commend the Mayor and his team, who have been very effective in applying lessons from the past to minimize damage.”...Continue reading here. 

Calgary Herald - June 26, 2013

Six days into High River’s evacuation, the mayor has sketched out a daunting list of necessary relief efforts before its 13,000 residents can be allowed home.

“We don’t have a flood. We have a disaster,” Mayor Emile Blokland told reporters gathered for a briefing near the Highway 2 interchange into town.

Emile Blokland likened it to the Slave Lake wildfire of 2011 that forced destroyed huge swaths of homes and forced prolonged evacuation. Many High River homeowners remain at an evacuation centre in nearby Nanton, and a small group is preparing to file a court injunction to force their way back into town...Continue reading here.

Calgary Herald - June 26, 2013

As the Tory government defended its preparations leading up to the worst flood in Alberta history Tuesday, two water experts said the province wasn’t ready and hadn’t learned the hard lessons from past disasters.

John Pomeroy, Canada research chair in Water Resources and Climate Change, said the warning system around flooding has proven to be deficient, while the province continues to allow development in areas at risk of flood.

“I don’t think we’ve made the hard decision on that and we’re paying the price now,” the University of Saskatchewan professor said in an interview. When you get floods of this magnitude now, our older approaches simply don’t work and avoidance has to be part of what we do — and by avoiding, that means flood plain development restrictions.” ...read more here.

 

 

CBC News - June 26, 2013

Experts in the business of cleaning up sites say some flood volunteers may be putting their own safety at risk.

Many Calgarians rushing to help don't have the proper gear. Volunteer Matt Johnson says he wore gloves, safety goggles and boots to clean up a basement. But, he didn't have a mask. And that, says Andrew Crook of Clean Air Services, is essential.

"I'd say there is definitely a good chance that there is mould there. So when they're removing that drywall, the mould is going to produce spores," he said. Crook advised Calgarians helping with flood cleanup to wear coveralls, gloves and eye protection as well as a respirator mask...Continue reading here.

Calgary Herald - June 26, 2013 

The Calgary Stampede is selling ‘Hell or High Water’ through its online store with proceeds donated to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund, which is actively providing relief to flood victims.

From Monday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon, more than 10,000 T-shirts have been sold, raising at least $100,000 for the Red Cross. Every dollar above the cost of production is being donated. The phrase ‘Hell or High Water’ suddenly appeared in social media attached to our brand,” said Deanne Carson, vice-president marketing and external relations of the Calgary Stampede. “It has really become a tag line to the optimism, power and resiliency of the community to get the job done no matter what obstacles we face.”...Continue reading here. 

 

Edmonton Journal - June 25, 2013 

Devon residents could heave a sigh of relief Tuesday morning as the local state of emergency was lifted.

The town declared a state of emergency Saturday afternoon after officials confirmed flooding of the North Saskatchewan River at various sites in the area. Devon Mayor Anita Fischer confirmed at a briefing Sunday the water level had risen to six metres, with the spillage severely affecting the Lions Campground, Voyageur Park and the river valley trail system...Continue reading here. 

CBC News - June 25, 2013

Alberta's flood water is draining towards Manitoba.

John Pomeroy, director of the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan, said every major river draining east out of the Rockies is in high flow or flood at once — and most of that water will end up in Lake Winnipeg. 

The South Saskatchewan River is collecting flood waters from tributaries in southern Alberta and moving east through Alberta and Saskatchewan...Continue reading here. 

The Canadian Press - June 25, 2013

Crews were digging up muskeg and pumping out contaminated waste water Tuesday in an effort to clean up a pipeline spill in northern Alberta near several aboriginal communities.

“Our focus right now is on aggressive action to contain, collect and mitigate the effects of the release,” said Greg Moffatt of Calgary-based PennWest Exploration, which owns the pipeline near Little Buffalo.

Initial reports last week that the spill involved 5,000 litres of oil were expanded when the company realized up to 600,000 litres of what is known as “produced water” had also escaped. Moffatt said the first estimate was based on a quick visual inspection...Continuing reading here.

Global News - June 25, 2013

As Calgary shores up and dries out, it’s still desperate times in the aptly named High River, the town hardest hit by flooding that has saturated southern Alberta. Some people in the community south of Calgary have refused to leave despite a mandatory evacuation order and others are angry they can’t get back.

The order has been in place since torrential rains last week caused the Highwood River to burst its banks and sent a river of water surging through much of the town of 13,000. But RCMP and soldiers who did a door-to-door search of 3,337 homes found 303 people trying to stick it without any utilities or public services.

Police say two women had to be rescued. One was picked up by boat and the other by a Canadian Forces light armoured vehicle. Both women, say police, had indicated their situations were becoming “quite desperate” and appeared to be very

...

CTV News - June 25, 2013 

Just over half of Calgary’s downtown has had power restored, according to city officials.

Four out of seven power zones in the downtown core had power as of 7 a.m. MT, Bruce Burrell, Calgary Emergency Management Agency director, said Tuesday morning.

“I want to have people going back in and having a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible,” said Burrell. “These people [city workers] are working all the time, not only looking at we need to do today, but what does this need to look like three or four days from now.

"And, folks, this is a big disaster, we’re going to be working on this for a few more weeks." ...Click here to read more.