City of Calgary flood readiness program kicks off this week

This time of year brings heightened awareness of river flooding for Calgarians. River flooding is most likely to occur between May 15 and July 15 due to the combination of snow melt and heavy rainfall events. The City of Calgary’s priority is to monitor, manage and reduce flood risk, and to ensure citizens understand their risk and have the information they need to prepare.

“Since 2013, together with the provincial and federal government, we have invested in projects that reduce our risk of river flood damage by one-third,” explains Sandy Davis, flood risk awareness program manager with The City of Calgary. “We have also strengthened our understanding of the flow of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, how rivers change, flood modelling, forecasting, preparedness and response.”

The City of Calgary’s commitment to river flood management is ongoing with upgrades underway to the Glenmore dam, plans for community flood barriers, and continued work with the Province on upstream mitigation such as the Springback Off-Stream Reservoir.

“While we are working to reduce our risk of river flood damage, we cannot eliminate the risk of flooding entirely,” says Davis. “River flooding impacts all Calgarians who live, work, commute or recreate along the Bow and Elbow Rivers or in the city centre.”

The City of Calgary’s flood readiness program includes:

  • Developing and maintaining emergency response plans.
  • Conducting training sessions and exercises for City staff.
  • Identifying areas of the city and critical infrastructure that are most vulnerable to flooding.
  • Ensuring adequate emergency resources are in place.
  • Sharing information with Calgarians, businesses and other municipalities.
  • Operating existing infrastructure, such as dams, reservoirs and outfall gates, to reduce flow rates and mitigate flood damage.

Calgarians have a critical role to play in preparing for river flooding and protecting their property. Residents can search their address online to see if they are at risk from flooding and The City has information available to help Calgarians prepare. Citizens can learn more at, check out our new interactive flood story map, sign up for a flood readiness e-newsletter, download the Flood Readiness Guide and prepare a 72-hour emergency kit.

The City invites Calgarians to attend one of the upcoming walking tours: Hidden in plain sight - Bow River flood protection in Eau Claire. 

  • Wednesday, May 22, 5 - 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 30, 12 - 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 1, 2 - 3 p.m.

These are free events. For more information and to register, visit the event page.

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