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Calgary actively watching river levels as flood season begins

Metro News logo Metro News 2017-05-16 Brodie Thomas - Metro

Although Calgary has brought in more mitigation measures since the 2013 flood, the city can never totally eliminate the possibility that flood waters will hit certain areas.: Calgary actively watching river levels as flood season begins © Metro File Calgary actively watching river levels as flood season begins

Flood watch season is officially underway in Calgary, and the city wants citizens to know it's actively watching the weather upstream of the Bow and Elbow Rivers.

Frank Frigo, leader of watershed analysis with Water Resources, City of Calgary, said May 15 to July 15 is historically when flooding is most likely to occur in Calgary.

He said many people think it's primarily due to spring runoff, but, in fact, he said it has more to do with sustained spring rains in the mountains.

“With the steep mountain catchments that we have upstream, on the Bow River there’s almost 8,000 square kilometers of area that drains into the river, and that area is dominated by high elevation mountain terrain that is steep and creates runoff very rapidly,” he said.

Frigo said at this time, conditions are at the high end of the normal range, but the city wants people to be prepared for possible changes.

Citizens are encouraged to visit Calgary.ca/floodinfo to determine possible risks to the area where they live, and for information on preparing a 72-hour emergency kit.

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