This past week the Canadian Rocky Mountains were hit by severe rains, up to 8 inches (20 cm) in a day, that on top of a melting snow pack in the high alpine areas. This resulted in severe floods in Southern Alberta the likes of which no one can remember. Some say that in 1932 it might have been as bad, but this seems to be “the flood of a century”.
Canmore, gateway to Banff and the Canadian Rockies, was especially hit hard. The town is still to a large extent isolated because the Trans-Canada Highway coming and leaving the town is closed at both ends because of flooding and damage. Calgary was also hit with the flooding of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, and much of the downtown has been evacuated, as have 100,000 residents. It is the largest such evacuation ever in Canadian history.
Fortunately, while I live close to Fish Creek Provincial Park and the Bow River, my place is fine although I’ve been without power for two days. So I’m writing and sending this from my fully functional hospital office. The hospital is busy because there have been many patients transferred in from smaller towns most heavily affected, like High River, Alberta. I know several people whose homes were flooded and one doctor whose home was completely washed away. I’m doing well and appreciate how many of you who have contacted me to express your concerns.
I’ve attached several photos of the Bow River from close to my home, taken last night and earlier today. The River normally is a fairly small band of water between the distant cliff in the photos (with houses above) on its eastern side and the far trees of Fish Creek Provincial Park to the west. I would estimate the Bow River is a good 25-30 feet (9-10 m) above its resting state. The River has now turned into a lake, except that it’s moving extremely rapidly, at least 15 km (10 mph) an hour, and is very rough and turbulent water. The trails where I like to hike and ride my bike are completely submerged.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)