PUBLISHED: 22 June 2021      Last Edited: 22 June 2021

Eight years ago: A recollection of the 2013 floods in southern Alberta

Eight years ago, one of the most devastating floods in Calgary’s history carved its way through southern Alberta, displacing thousands of people from their homes. One such Alberta resident, Victoria Pleavin of WaterSMART Solutions, now recalls her personal experience on the eighth anniversary of the 2013 southern Alberta floods.

“In June 2013 I was living in Mission, Calgary, less than one block from the Elbow River,” Victoria recalls. “I remember the morning of June 20th seeing several pictures posted of extreme flooding happening upstream in Canmore and thinking, ‘that is coming my way.’”

While trying to keep other Albertans informed of the flooding through the Alberta WaterPortal Society news, Victoria herself was preparing to evacuate her home.

“Everyone always told me I was so lucky to find a home by the river,” she remembers. “Turns out, it’s not always so great.”

Victoria was one of over 100,000 Albertans who were forced to evacuate their homes during the 2013 flood. This disaster was estimated to cause over $5 billion in damage across southern Alberta. Hardest hit communities included downtown Calgary, Canmore, Bragg Creek and High River.

The impact of the 2013 flood has led to several efforts, some of which that are still ongoing to improve flood resiliency and preparedness in southern Alberta. On this anniversary week, we remember both the devastation and the resilience, as Albertans came together to rebuild their communities as one.