Jun 21, 2013
By Jane Brown
Flooding across southern Alberta has reached devastating proportions following heavy rainfall. States of emergency have been declared in 12 communities, including parts of Calgary. More than 100,000 people have had to flee their homes in Calgary because of severe flooding on the Bow and Elbow rivers.
Heavy rain has swollen rivers across a wide stretch of the province, washing out roads and bridges, and sending residents scurrying for safety. The military is sending two helicopters to help with evacuation efforts as rescuers try to reach people trapped in their homes. Edmonton is sending 100 police officers to help with the evacuation in Calgary. Residents are being told it could be three days before flood waters receded enough for them to be able to return home.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford has cut short a trip to New York City to get back to her home province where she is offering reassurance. “When a family is in those circumstances, you don’t know what to do. People talk about what they would take in those circumstances. Let’s try to hold onto the fact that loved ones are safe. We have systems in place to make sure your families are protected, that we have strong systems in place to make sure things are in place for you now and we’ll get through this and be there for those communities.”
Highways north and south of Banff have also been closed.