Canada – Floods in Edmonton and Calgary as Elbow River Rises

The cities of Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta, Canada, both experienced storms and periods of torrential rain yesterday, Friday 15 July, 2016, causing surface flooding and power outages.

Just a few days earlier, the Saskatchewan communities of Arborfield, Carrot River and Estevan, declared states of emergency after torrential rain and flooding.


Calgary recorded 37.9 mm of rain in a 24 hour period between 14 and 15 July.

City of Calgary officials say that rainfall amounts totalling up to 90mm are anticipated through to Sunday, which will result in increased flows on the Elbow River coming into Glenmore Reservoir.

In anticipation of this high flow event, officials say the City has been releasing water from the Glenmore Reservoir to accommodate the forecast rainfall. Flows on the Elbow River downstream of Glenmore Reservoir have therefore been increasing.

Street flooding was reported, with some damage caused to houses, particularly in the Shawnessy area. The Calgary Fire Department reported a spike in flood-related calls on Friday.

Calgary officials warned of of the risk of flood water. A statement made on Friday said:

“For public safety, Calgarians are asked to be aware of potential for changing river conditions, and to keep themselves, their children and pets away from fast moving water and unstable banks when Elbow River flows are high.”


An afternoon thunderstorm on Friday 15 July, 2016, flooded streets in Edmonton and caused power outages in parts of the city.

Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the region during the afternoon. It has since expired and the worst of the severe weather is thought to have passed. According to Environment Canada figures, 21.8 mm of rain fell in a 24 hour period between 14 and 15 July.

Edmonton locals took to social media to post photographs of surface flooding in various parts of the city.