There are two rivers running through the city that rose to unprecedented levels, crested and flooded many areas that are outside of the flood plain zones in the last couple of days.
|10th Street bridge leading into downtown|
It is heart wrenching to see so many areas that I frequent are completely under water. Thankfully I live far from the rivers and my home is safe and dry. However, 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes. Slowly, they are allowing people to return to their houses, although many of them are uninhabitable or have much clean up to do.
Much of the Calgary Zoo sits covered in water. Only four animals had to be re-located off site and the rest have been moved around to higher ground. There had been many rumours that the lions had been re-located to the city's court house, which is an emergency back up plan, but has not been necessary.
|The Calgary Zoo|
Both hubby and my offices are downtown and we were unable to go to work on Friday due to the evacuation of the entire downtown core, which is on an island between the two rivers. The power still remains off in many of the affected areas and we have been advised that it is unlikely we will be able to return to work downtown until the middle of next week, best case scenario. All the bridges to downtown are closed- they need to test the integrity of the structures before they allow them to be re-opened. The C-train is not running in the downtown area due to flooding. Several of the train tunnels are full of water so until the water recedes they won't be accessible, assuming the tracks haven't been damaged from the water.
In less than 2 weeks, the Calgary Stampede "The Greatest Show on Earth" is scheduled to open. The Stampede Grounds are largely underwater. The Saddledome, the home of the Calgary Flames, and where many concerts are held, has water up to the 14th row. The entire lower portion of the building is unsalvageable. What this means for the building, I don't know but it definitely won't be fixed in time for the Stampede.
|Apparently the show must go on.|
The Stampede Grounds were the start and finish site for the Calgary Marathon/Jugo Juice 10K that I PR'd in last month. I still can't believe that roads I was running on- the underpass that I had to sprint to catch up to Cori on around 8K is full of water. The finish line is a huge, unrecognizable swamp.
|Finish line was close to the stage in the middle of the picture.|
|View of Stampede part from the east|
|Centre Street Bridge- we ran over the lower deck during the Calgary Jugo Juice 10K|
The flooding was also in other areas of the city that were close to the river. Parts of the SW and SE were hit hard.
|Condo building in the SW|
|Deerfoot and Glenmore junction- SE|
I could share many more pictures and stories of people affected by the flooding in southern Alberta. It's devastating. It will taken months, if not years to clean up and restore the affected areas to their previous state. Many people are displaced from their homes and have lost everything. So far only 3 people died from the flooding.
Thankfully Calgary is known it's community spirit. People are coming together and offering their help wherever they can. Strangers are opening their homes to people hit the hardest; people are organizing food and supplies for the shelters; people are bringing food and coffee to those volunteering to keep the areas safe and helping to evacuate people. The city is banding together in this extreme time of need. The clean up is going to be intense but it is already being organized.