Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Three killed as floods hit Canada

Homes along Cougar Creek in Canmore, Alberta, which is struggling to deal with floods (AP/The Canadian Press, Rocky Mountain Outlook, Craig Douce)
Cars are submerged by the flood waters in High River, Alberta (AP/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)
A kayaker paddles down a flooded street in High River, Alberta (AP/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

At least three people were killed by floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta, leading authorities to evacuate the western Canadian city of Calgary's entire downtown.

Inside the city's hockey arena, the waters reached as high as the 10th row.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the level of flooding "stunning" and said officials don't know yet if it will get worse, but said the water has peaked and stabilised and noted that the weather has improved.

Overflowing rivers washed out roads and bridges, soaked homes and turned streets into dirt-brown waterways around southern Alberta. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Patricia Neely said three were dead and two bodies were recovered. The two bodies recovered are the two men who had been seen floating lifeless in the Highwood River near High River on Thursday, she said.

Mr Harper, a Calgary resident, said he never imagined there would be a flood of this magnitude in this part of Canada.

"This is incredible. I've seen a little bit of flooding in Calgary before. I don't think any of us have seen anything like this before. The magnitude is just extraordinary," he said.

"We're all very concerned that if gets much more than this it could have real impact on infrastructure and other services longer term, so we're hoping things will subside a bit."

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the water levels have reached a peak, but have not declined.

"We've sat at the same level for many, many hours now," Mr Nenshi said. "There is one scenario that would it go even higher than this, so you'll either see the Bow river continue at this level for many hours or you will see it grow even higher and we're prepared for that eventuality."

Twenty-five neighbourhoods in the city, with an estimated 75,000 residents, were evacuated due to floodwaters in Calgary, a city of more than a million people that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics and is the centre of Canada's oil industry.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz