City of Calgary issues boating advisory for Elbow River as we prepare for significant rainfall
The City of Calgary is closely monitoring significant rainfall in the forecast for the Kananaskis region, west of Calgary, with potentially as much as 75-100 mm expected by Wednesday morning. This amount of rain has the potential to quickly raise flow rates on the Bow and Elbow Rivers.
In response, on June 12, 2022, effective immediately, The City of Calgary is issuing a boating advisory for the Elbow River, due to higher expected flow rates and the current forecast. Calgarians are advised against boating and all other watercraft activities on the Elbow River during this time.
No flooding over riverbanks is expected, however, flow rates are expected to increase, making conditions on and near the river dangerous. Water temperature remains cold and with the higher flow rates, water turbidity is increased, making hazards difficult to see. Members of the Calgary Fire Department Aquatics Team will be monitoring the rivers while the advisory is in place. For the safety of river users and emergency responders, The City advises everyone to stay off the Elbow River until conditions return to safer levels and the advisory is lifted.
Additional actions The City of Calgary is taking to prepare
Water levels have been lowered at upstream reservoirs on the Bow River and at the Glenmore Reservoir to make room for additional flood waters. Pathways in lower-lying areas are being closed and stormwater outfalls at several locations along the Bow and Elbow Rivers will also be closed. If conditions escalate, The City has materials stockpiled and ready for riverbank protection and temporary barriers should they need to be installed.
What Calgarians should do
If you live in a low-lying area that’s at risk of flooding, take steps to be flood ready.
- Move valuables and documents out of your basement as basement seepage is possible in river communities in lower-lying areas.
- If you have a sump pump or backflow valve, ensure it’s working.
- Direct rainwater away from your home: Eavestroughs and extensions should drain at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) away from your and your neighbour's home and onto a landscaped area so the water can soak into the ground.
It’s also important for Calgarians near the rivers to be aware of high flow levels. Calgarians are urged to:
- Exercise caution around riverbanks as the fast-moving water can cause erosion and destabilization of riverbanks.
- Warn their children about the dangers of fast-moving water, particularly those residents who live near the rivers.
- Cyclists and pedestrians should watch for low-lying areas where the river can submerge the pathways
- Keep pets away from fast-moving water.
- Remove lawn furniture and other portable items off the riverbank.
Flooding in Calgary can happen quickly and with little warning, so it’s important Calgarians continue to stay informed. Visit calgary.ca/floodinfo to sign up for emergency notifications and follow updates from The City through local media and on social media.
Significant rainfall is also expected within Calgary, which can lead to pooling on streets. If a storm drain is unable to clear the water after more than 90 minutes, take a photo and submit it via the 311 App or a web request. This will help City crews respond on a priority basis.
The City has information available to help Calgarians prepare and stay informed. Citizens can learn more at calgary.ca/floodinfo.
The City encourages all water users to familiarize themselves with safety practice bylaws and safety alerts on calgary.ca/watersafety and monitor flow levels at rivers.alberta.ca. Learn more about river flow rates – what is normal, and when flooding begins, on The City’s River Flow Rates webpage.
Visit calgary.ca/pathwayclosures for up-to-date information on pathway closures.