PUBLISHED: 20 November 2013

Timeline of Events: Calgary

Not long after flood waters heavily impacted Canmore, the City of Calgary declared a state of local emergency on June 20, 2013. Shortly after, evacuation plans were ordered for 26 low-lying communities along the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Dangerous circumstances arose, when the Bow River tripled its regular flow rate to 720m3/s and the Elbow River reached inflow rates 40 times higher than the normal rate[1]. Under these circumstances, downtown Calgary was evacuated, nearly 75,000 residents told to leave their homes. Disruptions to school, transit, power, water and road services also occurred. Despite these disruptions, the loss of productivity and damage to infrastructure, Calgary’s emergency response system and municipal government were admired both locally and nationally for their professional and well-executed response. 

Immediately after the flood began to recede, Calgarians volunteered to clean-up and help those in need to recover from the damage and devastation caused to homes, communities and public areas. Media reports showed flood damage to major Calgary landmarks including the Zoo, Saddledome, Stampede grounds and various parks. Overtime, clean-up efforts have turned into mitigation plans for increasing preparedness for future floods. 

Flood-view of Downtown Calgary

[1] “Flood Timeline 2013.” City of Calgary. Accessed November 6, 2013.