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Old 21-06-13, 12:39   #1
 
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Update PhOtOs-Canada Floods-$1Billion+ Aid & 10Yrs to Recover

Updated 8:28 AM EDT, Fri June 21, 2013


Raging rivers cause flooding in Canada.


Rain-swollen rivers burst from their banks in southern Alberta, Canada, ripping out roads, cutting off communities and forcing about 75,000 people out of their homes in Calgary alone.

"In my lifetime, I have never seen flooding like this," Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told CNN on Friday.

By Friday morning, authorities said they had completed a challenging overnight evacuation of 25 neighborhoods without any injuries or deaths.

But portions of the city of 1 million people -- famous for the annual Calgary Stampede rodeo -- were covered in deep water Friday, including parts of downtown. Nenshi asked people to stay away, in part to keep roads clear for emergency workers.

The emergency in Calgary follows devastating flooding in rural areas of the southern province of Alberta, hitting towns such as High River and Canmore hard. Authorities declared a state of emergency in several cities, including the mountain town of Canmore, where on Thursday, raging waters tore out a portion of the Trans-Canada Highway.

"Like everything, everything, is destroyed there -- our homes, like everything," Alberta resident Melanie Atkinson, who lost her home in the flooding, told Canadian broadcaster CBC.

Rescue crews used heavy construction equipment to rescue people from homes and businesses Thursday in High River, the network reported.

Canada's military was pitching in with helicopters and other assets to help local officials with rescue and evacuation efforts, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those families who have been affected by the serious flooding in Calgary and Southern Alberta," Harper said, adding that the federal government would provide "any and all possible assistance."

No deaths or injuries have been reported.

In Calgary, officials closed many bridges as water levels became dangerously high. The city zoo closed and began moving animals to safer locations.

Nenshi said one of the city's two rivers -- the Elbow -- had crested, but it appeared that the other -- the Bow -- was still rising. Emergency officials have said they expect the river to remain high through at least Saturday.

Calgary police said they were patrolling evacuated areas to ensure that vacant homes and businesses would remain as safe as possible.

The flooding was caused by a slow-moving storm that dumped 154 millimeters (more than 6 inches) of rain on the region from Wednesday to Thursday, CNN meteorologist Sherri Pugh said. As much as another inch of rain is possible northwest of Calgary on Friday, with yet another front moving in Monday, bringing the threat of yet more rain.

Calgary, near the Canadian Rocky Mountains, is perhaps best known for its rodeo, held each July. More than 1.4 million people attended last year, organizers say.

Calgary authorities are using the park where the stampede is held as a staging area for flood response efforts. It will probably see some flooding, organizers said early Friday.
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Old 23-06-13, 00:38   #2
 
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Update re: PhOtOs/Videos-10Years & $1Billion+ For Flooding Aid- Alberta Canada

Some Calgary Flood Evacuation Expected to Lift

Return to normalcy will be slow, especially for a powerless downtown, warn city officials

CBC News: Jun 22, 2013

Though much of Calgary remains underwater, including parts of an eerily quiet downtown, some of the 75,000 flood evacuees are being allowed to go back home.
The city is still in a state of emergency, but they are aiming to reopen six neighbourhoods, maybe more, said Calgary Emergency Management Agency director Bruce Burrell.


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A helicopter carrying rescued residents lands on a road in High River, Alta., Thursday.

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The Videos below show the severely flooded zones. The first one shows a house crashing into a bridge, due to the floodwaters/currents being so strong










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Old 25-06-13, 04:06   #3
 
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Default re: PhOtOs-Canada Floods-$1Billion+ Aid & 10Yrs to Recover

Alberta Flood Recovery Could Take 10 years, says Alberta Premier Alison Redford

Premier announced that the province had approved a $1-billion preliminary emergency fund
CBC News, Jun 24, 2013

"I promise you that, on behalf of the government of Alberta, we will do everything that it takes for people to rebuild their homes and rebuild their lives and rebuild their communities," the premier said.
Redford, who addressed media Monday, said the flooding would have a huge effect on the provincial budget.

The premier announced that the province had approved a $1-billion preliminary emergency fund to deal with the funding. Part of that will be for "cash cards" for residents who have not been able to return home yet. That funding will start to be handed out in the next week or two, she said.
"We talk about responding, we talk about renewal and we talk about rebuilding."
Redford said the province is now in the renewal phase.
She also stressed that people should be wary of misinformation. “Please go to the government websites to make sure that the information you have is actually true," said Redford.


The Return Home

Evacuation orders across Calgary continued to lift Monday.

"I am happy to announce today, right now, that every single family home outside of the downtown is open for families to return home," said Nenshi.

Nenshi said just before noon MT that the Bow and Elbow river levels were at a third of what they were when they crested.
"It is still very dangerous out there, we are still in a local state of emergency," he said.
"You must stay off the river bank and you must stay off the river pathways, even if they look safe. We don’t know what has happened in terms of erosion."
As people return home, Nenshi stressed that residents should visit re-entry stations in their neighbourhoods.
"Remember again that electricity and water don’t mix, you have to be incredibly careful," said Nenshi.


In terms of power outages, Nenshi said Enmax is working hard to restore electricity. Many neighbourhoods are back on the grid, but it's a slow process, he warned. “It’s not just flipping a switch to turn the power on,” said Nenshi.
“So be patient, I know it’s really tough. I know it’s really, really frustrating.”


Volunteer Effort

About 2,500 people showed up at McMahon Stadium on Monday to volunteer to help residents settle back into their homes.
Those people will help knock on the doors of houses that had been evacuated and provide residents with information on flood recovery and other community resources.
“This is Calgary, folks. This is the spirit of this community."
Nenshi said the city will have more formal volunteering opportunities available soon.
“But, and I’ll probably get in trouble from the legal department for saying this, just go help your neighbour,” said Nenshi.


Army Presence to Decline

“We are anticipating that we will begin to see a drop down in the number of Canadian troops that are deployed right now,” said Calgary Southeast MP Jason Kenney.
The troops that are left will likely be assigned to help out with power and water problems, as opposed to search and rescue, said the minister.
The Bank of Montreal issued a statement late Monday morning estimating that the total losses from the Calgary floods will be in the $3-billion to $5-billion range.
Kenney said there is no way to tell just how much damage the flooding has cost at this point.


Outdoor Water Restrictions

Tap water remains safe for consumption, and the outdoor water use ban is still in place, Bruce Burrell, director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said Monday.




Daniel Boddy, 9, helps with the cleanup work as hose lines from pumps drain water from a flooded basement in the Bridgeland neighbourhood in Calgary.
(Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Across the city, people were starting to assess the damage at their homes and begin the long process of cleaning up.
People beginning to re-enter their homes should check for water outside and around the home. If it looks as if any electrical outlets are underwater, or have been touched by water, or if there is a smell of gas, people should immediately exit the building.
If there is any seepage or sewage, residents should call their insurance company to discuss how to remove the matter.
Food that has been spoiled should be thrown out, including food that was touched by floodwater.
For those starting to remove water from their homes, Burrell said it is acceptable to pump floodwater into the streets, as long as it’s not suspected of being contaminated.


Stories of Recovery

Wade Felesky lives in the Elbow Park neighbourhood in southwest Calgary. Not only did he have to contend with extensive flooding of his house, he told CBC that he wielded an axe to chase away some would-be looters in the early hours of Monday morning.
"They became aggressive and we became more aggressive and they ran away" said Felesky.


Other Calgarians praised their fellow citizens for coming to their aid in a time of need.
James Maxim, a resident of the Roxboro neighbourhood, said about dozen people, some of them strangers, helped him take the remaining water out of his basement.


Downtown Remains Closed

Residents have been warned there is still a long way to go before the city and its downtown will be back to normal.


Schools Closed

In Calgary, all public and Catholic schools in the city will remain closed until Thursday. At that point they will re-open until noon.
Grade 9 provincial achievement tests are cancelled and students will receive a mark awarded by their teacher.
All universities and colleges in Calgary will also be closed Monday.
Schools in the entire Foothills School Division are closed for the rest of the school year.


Royal Best Wishes

Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, issued a note to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday, in which the couple expressed their best wishes for the people of Alberta.


Quote:

"Catherine and I have been saddened to learn of the deaths and destruction caused by the unprecedented flooding throughout the province of Alberta," the letter reads.
"Please pass on our best wishes to the lieutenant-governor and premier of Alberta and to the brave emergency services and all those volunteering to help their neighbours during this ongoing period of intense efforts. Please be assured of our continued thoughts and prayers for all those caught up in the flooding."


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God Bless You
Alberta Canada




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