23 June 2005

Update: Calgary Area Flooding!

An update from my previous post about all the rain... Please pardon the delay, but it's taken me forever to get all the panorama pictures stitched! Also, most of the links below are pix, so click on them all! I'm hoping to give you an accurate view of what's happened...

OK. Calgary is now on track to break June's all-time record for rainfall, with serious rain again in the forecast for this weekend, and with only 6mm out of the 225mm needed to break the record. Although the state of emergency has been lifted (link info), the situation at the water treatement plants is still dire. My tap water smells heavily of chlorine, and the city car washes have been shut down and although it doesn't seem logical, people are being told NOT to water their lawns. It would tax the overburdened water treatment system right now. Also (as usual, I post this), there are some interesting pictures over a Flickr.

This past weekend (050619), right after the flooding crested at record levels, my friend Brad and I got on our scooters and explored Calgary, taking pictures of as much of the flooding as we could get. Here's a little photo gallery of some of the better pictures we took over this past week, plus a timelapse gallery I made, as well. Brad also made a gallery, too.

Calgary, in case you don't know, has two rivers going through it, the Bow and it's little cousin, the Elbow. Both rivers join just east of downtown, near the old Fort Calgary. Cute river names, right? Lee, you'd think the Sims built Calgary! Check out the names of some of the places... "Earl Grey" Golf Course??

Anyway. Here's a Google map of calgary, along with a satellite companion. Basically, the interesting flooding pictures happened at the Glenmore Reservoir (the reservoir is at the bottom of each map, with the dam being at the top edge of the reservoir, and the protected wilderness pictures taken down at the lower left on this map). Zoom around a bit. To the left, upstream up the Bow river, lies Prince's Island Park (See that brown-coloured bridge on the right? And the rocks on the riverbank? The rocks were TOTALLY SUBMERGED in the flooding!) and the further west you go, you run into more and more Calgary that way, too. I love just north of the 10th st. bridge, on 14th st... see that island? It's gone, now...

To the east (the Bow River flows into Hudson's Bay) the river crosses the weir, a small lock (what it does, I'm not sure) that is extremely dangerous to boaters (underwater vorteces). I'm told the weir was pretty much a speedbump during the flooding.

In the map, you'll see the Elbow river twirling north from the dam (through some of the most expensive and picturesque (and most heavily damaged) real estate in Calgary). Check out this picture of the Saddledome (I didn't take these ones). See the bike trail? Partially covered in water. See the bridge, to the left? Water was spilling OVER TOP of it.

The Glenmore Dam and water treatment plant, by the way, was finished in 1932, and this is only the THIRD time that water has ever flowed over the top. As you can see, normally, water NEVER comes over that barrier (which is usually grey and dusty and flecked with orange pieces of moss). When the dam was built it created one of the largest drinking water reservoirs in Canada, and it also created one of the most diverse wildlife areas (the Weaselhead Natural Area). Check out how low the water is to the left in that picture, then compare it to the ones in the photo gallery.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lee H. said...

WOW. That's incredible... y'all HAVE had a lot of rain!!! It's been rainy down here all along the east coast, but I haven't heard of any flooding down here.

Hmm... where does all that Calgary water have to GO on its way to the ocean?

*dons galoshes*

5:36 PM, June 25, 2005  
Blogger CatsFive said...

It all goes to the Hudson's Bay... that's the little water "dip" that separates Qu├ębec and Ontario on your maps.

Not only that... but... and here, I beg you to please not demand my Canadian citizenship card, here, but... it's COLD in Canada! *ALL* the damned time! I'm sick of it! Tuesday was WARM (people were complaining, but I loved it), but we've had precious FEW of those days. Here's hoping July and August will be HOT months! I see myself... down at the Kananaskis Lake swimming this summer! I hope!

9:04 PM, June 25, 2005  

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