The City of Calgary flood readiness program kicks off this week
With a higher-than-average snowpack, overland flooding affecting several Alberta communities and the five-year anniversary of the 2013 Southern Alberta flood, we know that river flooding is top-of-mind 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. It is our priority at the City of Calgary 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 Province, we have committed more than $150 million towards projects that reduce our risk of river flood damage by about one-third,” explains Frank Frigo, leader of Watershed Analysis 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, the construction of community flood barriers, and continued work with the Province on upstream mitigation such as the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir.
“While we are working to reduce our risk of river flood damage, we cannot eliminate the risk of flooding entirely,” says Frigo. “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.
Citizens 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 calgary.ca/floodinfo, sign up for a bi-weekly flood readiness e-newsletter, download the Flood Readiness Guide and prepare a 72-hour emergency kit.
Citizens are invited to attend one of these upcoming events:
Flood Preparedness Open House for Bow River Communities
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Start time: 7:00 p.m.
745 37th Street N.W.
Councillor Farkas’ Flood Readiness Town Hall for Elbow River Communities
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Start time: 7:00 p.m.
Elbow Park Community Centre
800 34 Avenue S.W.