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Heretic

The City of Calgary has declared a local state of emergency

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The City has declared a local state of emergency with mandatory evacuation orders for the following six communities along the Elbow River:

• Mission

• Elbow Park

• Stanley Park

• Roxboro

• Rideau

• Discovery Ridge

If you reside in one of these areas, please be sure to put safety above all else as you look after your families and belongings. Please advise your manager if you are impacted by the flooding and you need to leave or be away from work.

Further information can be found by visiting the City of Calgary’s website.

http://newsroom.calg...ion-246944.aspx

Calgary braces for flooding, orders communities evacuated:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/06/20/calgary-rain-flood-canmore-state-of-emergency.html

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A story from a month ago predicting this very thing.

Drill baby drill!!

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alberta/Alberta+urged+prepare+increasingly+severe+weather+insurance+losses+mount/8446756/story.html

Canada’s insurance lobby says Albertans are less likely to be worried about weather trends linked to climate change than others in the country, despite a recent six-fold increase in insured damages from severe storms, fires and flooding.

But as property and casualty carriers respond by hiking premiums up to 25 per cent this year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says the province and its municipalities need to get serious about mitigating losses in Alberta that have mounted to an average of $670 million annually in the past four years compared to an average of $100 million annually in the previous 15 years.

“Alberta has become the place where bad weather pays a visit more often,” said Don Forgeron, IBC’s president and chief executive.

“We could simply raise premiums, walk away and be quiet, but we think there is another way.”

Polling done this month for IBC found 91 per cent of Canadians have noticed a change in weather patterns over the past decade, but only 80 per cent of Albertans had spotted a trend.

The numbers also showed residents of the province were less likely than others in the country to be concerned about the changes that have made Albertans the worst hit by natural catastrophes.

According to the poll, residents were also more likely than other Canadians to make the mistake of naming Ontario instead of their home province as the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions that have been linked to climate change.

Forgeron, who is scheduled to speak to Calgary’s Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, said he isn’t coming to the city to preach to oil executives about limiting the cause of this looming problem.

But he does believe governments, business and consumers need to adapt or risk seeing their losses from severe weather continue to rise.

“An Alberta farmer who just had his barn damaged by yet another hailstorm probably doesn’t care if the climate graph is shaped like a hockey stick or not.” Forgeron said.

“Neither are we, but we are interested in the impact on our customers and members.”

A recent study prepared for IBC by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss and Reduction predicts Alberta will see a 10 per cent increase in severe weather events by 2050 as average annual temperatures in the province rise up to four degrees Celsius as a result of global warming.

The report says the result will be drought conditions and shortages of potable water in fast-growing cities like Calgary.

Combined with a 20 per cent increase in lightning frequency, the dry conditions will increase the likelihood of wildfires similar to the Slave Lake disaster two years ago.

Rainstorms, when they come, will be more intense and could cause flash-flooding in low-lying areas and overwhelm existing storm sewer systems.

John Pomeroy, the Canada research chair in Water Resources and Climate Change at the University of Saskatchewan, has studied rainfall records on the Prairies for the past century and found a marked increase in the number of multi-day rain events during the summer that can overwhelm streams and rivers.

“Those big frontal systems are increasing in their intensity and frequency,” said Pomeroy, “and we’re fast learning that our roads, our bridges and even some of our towns aren’t any match for the rainfall and the overflow that results.”

While Alberta’s infrastructure is better able to withstand the threat of increased flooding than that in other Western provinces, he said there are areas like the Cougar Creek subdivision in Canmore that are especially vulnerable.

“Cities need to be much more rigorous about where they’re letting people build,” Forgeron said.

“That home along the river is beautiful until the water starts running through your living room.”

Residential development in older neighbourhoods along the Elbow River and Bow River in Calgary occurred long before the risk was known and the city has had to build embankments or develop plans for the placement of temporary barriers to prevent flooding.

But Frank Frigo, a senior planning engineer with Calgary’s water resources department, said newer subdivisions such as Quarry Park and Chaparral Valley have been subject to scrutiny prior to approval.

“We end up being very cautious and very concerned about the impact of any development in the river valleys,” Frigo said.

While the vast majority of new homes in Alberta are equipped with sewer backup valves, Forgeron said cities and towns need to consider following Edmonton’s lead in providing grants to homeowners to retrofit their properties and prevent basement flooding.

Forgeron said IBC is also developing a risk assessment tool that will allow cities and towns to identify where they need to improve sewer and stormwater systems to handle the deluges expected in the coming decades.

The province started flood hazard mapping during the 1970s to identify areas with a risk greater than one per cent of being flooded in any given year, but a spokesman with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development said the assessments are based on historical data and have not been updated to include the effects of climate change.

“Flood mapping is woefully inadequate in the country,” Forgeron said.

“Governments have not invested in up-to-date flood maps, so it’s difficult to predict exactly where these rivers are most at risk of flooding.”

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Damn, looks bad over there. In the lower mainland here and we got some what seems to be 'pouring rain' but it's nothing compared to Calgary...hope people get to safety and keep themselves out of harms way the best they can.

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Stay safe my southern Alberta brothers and sisters! I will donate to the Red Cross, or help as much as I can. It's been wet in Edmonton the past few days, but seeing the photos from High River, Calgary and other areas is scary!

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Hang on, green house gases don't cause climate change - cfc's do. At least that was what some scientist was saying a few months ago.

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I'm near the middle of Calgary, but to the North at higher ground. It's actually sunny and beautiful here. But NW and SW of here are in monsoon.

But still, this is nothing compared to what is going on in High River. My wife's friend's cousin lives there, and is currently rescuing people with his motorboat. Craziness.

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Ouch that's awful weather! I am thankful that this rarely happens in Toronto. Hell, outside of April is hardly rains down here (which does suck).

21 degrees of pure sun today. Sucks how Calgary is the opposite story.

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Hopefully no one gets seriously hurt in this. Sports aside, we are all Canadians and need to look out for one another.

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yeah, the whole area just got a huge blast of rain in such a short amount of time that people weren't prepared for. I saw a picture on Global new that showed the river near Camrose, and it was like 5 times it's size in under 24hrs.

Hope for the best, I heard one guy is still missing, got swept up in his RV.

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yeah, the whole area just got  a huge blast of rain in such a short amount of time that people weren't prepared for. I saw a picture on Global new that showed the river near Canmore, and it was like 5 times it's size in under 24hrs.

Hope for the best, I heard one guy is still missing, got swept up in his RV.

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The City has declared a local state of emergency with mandatory evacuation orders for the following six communities along the Elbow River:

• Mission

• Elbow Park

• Stanley Park

• Roxboro

• Rideau

• Discovery Ridge

If you reside in one of these areas, please be sure to put safety above all else as you look after your families and belongings. Please advise your manager if you are impacted by the flooding and you need to leave or be away from work.

Further information can be found by visiting the City of Calgary’s website.

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