CALGARY, Alberta – The two rivers that converge on Calgary receded Saturday after floods devastated much of southern Alberta province, causing at least three deaths and forcing thousands to flee.
The flooding forced authorities to evacuate Calgary’s entire downtown and hit some of the city’s iconic structures hard. The Saddledome, home to the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames, was flooded up to the 10th row, leaving the dressing rooms submerged.
Water lapped at the roof of the chuckwagon barns at the grounds of the Calgary Stampede, which is scheduled to start in two weeks. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said the city will do everything it can to make sure that the world-renowned party goes ahead.
Bruce Burrell, director of the city’s emergency management agency, said Saturday they are seeing improvements in the rivers. Dan Limacher, director of water services for the city, said the Elbow River is expected to recede by about 60 percent over the next two days, while the larger Bow River will recede by about 25 percent.
However, Nenshi said later Saturday that while the city may have turned a corner, a state of emergency is still in effect.
“Flows on Elbow and Bow (rivers) are dropping slowly. We do believe the peak has passed on the Elbow. However, water levels are still four times higher than 2005 flood levels,” he said during a press conference.