Le centre-ville de Calgary est maintenant menacé par les inondations causées par les pluies diluviennes qui se sont abattues sur le sud de l'Alberta. L'état d'urgence a été décrété dans plusieurs communautés et une vingtaine de quartiers de Calgary.

Par mesure préventive, la Ville de Calgary a diffusé un ordre d'évacuation obligatoire pour 18 quartiers longeant la rivière Elbow : Mission, Elbow Park, Stanley Park, Roxboro, Rideau, Discovery Ridge, Cliff Bungalow, Victoria Park, Inglewood, Stampede Park, Erlton, Bowness, Sunnyside, Westmount, Montgomery, Eau Claire, Downtown East Village et Bonnybrook, sont en voie d'être évacués ou l'ont déjà été.

Toute circulation dans ces zones est interdite, sauf pour quitter les résidences.

Voir le blogue en direct à la fin de l'article

Écoles fermées et centre-ville à éviter vendredi

Lors d'un point de presse jeudi à 22 h heure locale, le service de police de Calgary a affirmé que le centre-ville pourrait fort bien être affecté par les inondations d'ici vendredi matin. Les policiers recommandent aux citoyens qui peuvent éviter le centre-ville vendredi de rester loin de cette zone.

Toutes les écoles du Conseil scolaire de Calgary et du Conseil scolaire catholique de Calgary seront fermées le vendredi 21 juin à cause des problèmes d'inondations qu'éprouve la ville de Calgary et ses environs.

Les écoles du Conseil scolaire de Calgary sont toutes dans les limites de la ville, alors que celles du conseil scolaire catholique comprennent également les communautés de Chestermere, Airdrie et Cochran. Toutes ces écoles seront fermées.

Suite du texte sous la galerie de photos

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  • Emergency Declared In Southern Alberta After Heavy Flooding

    Houses damaged along the edge of Cougar Creek are shown June 20, 2013 in Canmore, Alta. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads prompting the evacuation of thousands.

  • Emergency Declared In Southern Alberta After Heavy Flooding

    Residents watch flooding along Cougar Creek June 20, 2013 in Canmore, Alta. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads prompting the evacuation of thousands.

  • Emergency Declared In Southern Alberta After Heavy Flooding

    Residents watch the flooding Cougar Creek as it takes out Eagle Terrace Road and nears the top of the Elk Run Blvd Bridge June 20, 2013 in Canmore, Alta. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads prompting the evacuation of thousands.

  • Emergency Declared In Southern Alberta After Heavy Flooding

    Houses damaged along the edge of Cougar Creek.

  • A lone truck sits submerged in the flood waters near downtown High River, Alta. on Thursday.

  • Homes along Cougar Creek in Canmore, Alta. barely hang on as the town struggles to deal with flooding Thursday.

  • A front end loader carries residents after they were rescued from the flood waters in High River, Alberta.

  • A kayaker paddles down a flooded street in High River, Alberta on Thursday.

  • Cars are submerged by the flood waters in High River, Alberta on Thursday.

  • Kevan Yaets swims after his cat Momo to safety as the flood waters sweep him downstream after submerging his truck in High River, Alberta on Thursday.

  • A woman is rescued from the flood waters in High River, Alta. on Thursday.

  • Kevan Yaets crawls out the back window of his pick up truck with his cat Momo as the flood waters sweep him downstream after submerging his truck in High River.

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

  • Crystal Poirier, Roger Poirier

    Roger Poirier, holds his family's cat, Smartie, as his wife Crystal looks on after rescuing it from their flooded house in High River, Alta., Thursday.

  • Cars and homes are submerged in flood waters in High River.

  • Rescuers looks for stranded residents in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • A shot of the homes along Cougar Creek.

  • Semi truck sit idle to the Trans-Canada Highway in Canmore, Alta. on Thursday June 20, 2013. Calgary and most of southern Alberta are being hammered by rain that has washed-out roads and bridges, caused mudslides and closed major highways.

  • A flooded residence in High river, Alta. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in High River, Alta., Thursday, June 20, 2013.

  • A front end loader carries people to safety from the flood waters in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • Kevan Yaets swims after his cat Momo to safety as the flood waters sweep him downstream and submerge the cab in High River, Alberta on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks. Hundreds of people have been evacuated with volunteers and emergency crews helping to aid stranded residents.

  • A resident is comforted by rescuers as she clutches her dog after being retrieved from the flood waters in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • Bragg Creek Flood 2013 House Breaking

    A video of a house shattering against the bridge during the first day of the 2013 flood in Bragg Creek. I offer my sincerest condolences to those who lost th...

  • A lone truck sits submerged in the flood waters near downtown High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • Krystal Lelond of Black Diamond clutches her cat Pipi after being evacuated from her home after the Sheep River overflowed its banks.

  • An elderly woman is rescued from the flood waters in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • Debris and water pours across the Trans-Canada Highway as Canmore struggles with flooding.

  • A woman wades through the flood waters in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • Flooding in Black Diamond

  • This is the view of the bridge over the Highwood. Normally there is a couple metres clearance below it.

  • A kayaker paddles down a flooded street in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks.

  • One of several rock slides blocking #hwy40 in Kananaskis. No access to Kananaskis village.

  • Look at the flooding in #lethbridge !! This street has been shut down

  • Residents wade through flood waters after an evacuation order following heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in High River.

  • A helicopter carrying evacuated residents lands on a road in High river, Alta. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in High River, Alta., Thursday, June 20, 2013.

  • The Bow river swells over its banks in downtown Calgary, Alta. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, June 20, 2013.

  • The Bow river swells over its banks in downtown Calgary, Alta. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, June 20, 2013.

Conseils d'évacuation
Les citoyens sont invités à trouver refuge chez des membres de leur famille ou des amis pour les 72 prochaines heures. Les résidents n'ont plus accès à ces quartiers depuis 15 h heure locale.

Des refuges sont également à la disposition des évacués au Southland Leisure Centre (2000 Southland Drive sud-ouest) et au Acadia Recreation Complex au 240-90e Avenue sud-est.

Les citoyens qui se rendent dans les refuges doivent apporter des pièces d'identité et leurs médicaments d'ordonnance.

Calgary Transit et Access Calgary se préparent à évacuer les résidents qui ne peuvent partir par leurs propres moyens. Les personnes qui ont besoin d'aide peuvent s'identifier auprès des intervenants d'urgence qui font du porte-à-porte.

Les citoyens qui ont des animaux de compagnie sont encouragés à les laisser chez des amis ou d'autres membres de leur famille. Si cela est impossible, les animaux peuvent être amenés à la fourrière.

Calgary n'a pas besoin de dons ou de bénévoles pour aider les évacuations en cours, selon un message diffusé jeudi après-midi dans les médias sociaux.

Plus de pluie en vue

L'avertissement de pluie abondante pour Calgary, High River-Okotoks et Claresholm a été levé un peu avant 16 h jeudi, mais ces régions pourraient quand même recevoir de 20 à 25 mm de pluie d'ici vendredi soir.

Les municipalités plus à l'ouest, dont Canmore, Cochrane, Kananaskis, Rocky Mountain House et le parc national de Banff, sont toujours sous le coup d'un avertissement de pluie et pourraient recevoir de 20 à 50 mm de pluie.

Inondations pires qu'en 2005

Après avoir déclaré l'état d'urgence jeudi, le directeur de l'Agence de gestion des urgences de Calgary, Bruce Burrell, a souligné que les données qu'il avait en main laissaient croire que l'eau allait probablement déborder par-dessus le barrage Glenmore, à un débit qui dépasserait ceux qui ont été enregistrés en 2005.

La ville a aussi ouvert son centre des opérations d'urgence où les personnes-clé des entreprises de la ville et de groupes externes comme Enmax, Atco et Services de santé Alberta se rassemblent pour appuyer les intervenants de première ligne.

La ville a commencé à mettre en place son plan d'intervention en cas d'inondations : elle distribue des sacs de sable et des barrages temporaires dans des endroits stratégiques.

« Nous savons qu'il y aura des évacuations, que certaines parties de Calgary seront inondées », a expliqué M. Burrell. « Nous savons que cela [les inondations] n'arrivera pas avant tard ce soir ou tôt demain matin », a-t-il ajouté.

Précautions à prendre

Les porte-parole de la ville ont rappelé aux citoyens de se tenir loin des rivières et des ruisseaux, car les berges de ceux-ci pourraient être affaiblies par l'augmentation des niveaux d'eau, et d'éviter les bassins d'eau pluviale.

Les résidents dont les sous-sols sont inondés sont priés de composer 3-1-1.

Réactions des élus

La première ministre Alison Redford prévoit visiter les régions inondées vendredi.

« J'ai suivi les événements toute la journée avec beaucoup d'inquiétude et je suis de tout cœur avec les nombreux Albertains qui ont été évacués à la suite des inondations qui touchent la plus grande partie du Sud et du Centre de la province », a-t-elle déclaré par voie de communiqué.

« J'encourage fortement tout le monde à suivre les directives de la sécurité publique. Si on vous demande d'évacuer, s'il vous plaît, faites-le, pour votre propre sécurité », a-t-elle ajouté.

CBC a appris que le maire la métropole albertaine, Naheed Nenshi, précipite son retour d'un voyage dans l'est du pays consacré au développement économique. Il est attendu à Calgary jeudi soir.

Des ressources des Forces armées canadiennes, notamment un hélicoptère Cormorant et un hélicoptère Griffon, ont été déployées dans la région pour appuyer l'équipe d'urgence provinciale de l'Alberta dans les efforts de secours et d'évacuation, affirme le premier ministre canadien Stephen Harper dans une déclaration officielle. Il souligne aussi que le fédéral offre « toute l'aide possible à la province de l'Alberta en réaction à cette situation ».

« Nous espérons que les inondations prendront fin rapidement et souhaitons un retour à des conditions sécuritaires le plus tôt possible. Nous demeurons prêts à fournir de l'aide supplémentaire à la demande des autorités provinciales », conclut M. Harper.

Blogue en direct par le Huffington Post Alberta (en anglais)

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith tweeted this photo of the rising waters of the Highwood River.

"This is the view of the bridge over the Highwood. Normally there is a couple metres clearance below it. #ableg #wrp"

southern alberta flooding

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You can find updates on various communities and their flood status at Alberta Emergency Alert http://www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca/

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Cougar Creek in Canmore is completely overrun by floods. High River, Black Diamond and Calgary are also facing quickly rising water levels. The latest on evacuations and warnings can be found in our story.

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From the Alberta Emergency Alert:

All residents in north west, south west and north east High River are under mandatory evacuation. Crews are working to reach residents in the Vista Mirage area. Information will be posted on the High River website at www.highriver.ca.

Evacuate immediately. Please go to Highwood High School on 12th Ave where the emergency evacuation centre has been opened.

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From Alberta Emergency Alert:

There is localized flooding in Town, beginning near the Foothills Lions Campground. Hwy 22 is closed near that location. Residents west of 1st St SW are being evacuated to the Reception Centre (Oilfields Arena). Power outages may follow. The Water Treatment Plant has been shut down due to flood & safety concerns. Residents are requested to conserve water.

Door to door notification of the evacuation is taking place. Donations of towels and blankets can be made at the Arena. Food donations may be required later in the day. The town is currently investigating sources of bottled water. More information.

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From the City of Calgary:

The decision was made by Deputy Mayor Richard Pootmans and Ald. John Mar to declare a SOLE based on the potential severity of the incoming high river flows in conjunction with expected heavy rainfall. The City of Calgary has begun to implement its flood response plans with the deployment of sandbags and temporary dams at key locations to protect property and infrastructure. The City is working to ensure the safety of Calgarians and asks for their patience and cooperation during this time. Citizens are reminded to: · Stay away from rivers and creeks as the water is rising and moving quickly, and banks may be unstable. · Avoid storm water ponds and storm drains, and do not let children play near them. · Do not drive through flooded areas such as underpasses. · If you experience basement seepage or overland flooding, call 3-1-1 to report. · If you or someone else is in imminent danger, call 9-1-1. Remember that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only; please use 3-1-1 for reporting non-emergency issues.

· Monitor local media and City of Calgary messages. For more information on flooding, visit calgary.ca/flooding.

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cougar creek

Photo: Wade Graham, Facebook

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Cougar Creek threatens homes with its mighty surge.

Video: Wade Graham, Facebook

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cougar creek canmore

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From Alberta Emergency Alerts:

There is a hazardous materials release threatening life and the environment. An sour gas pipeline rupture has caused a release of H2S in the Town of Turner Valley. Residents are ordered to protect in place. Emergency crews have evacuated the affected areas and will continue to monitor.

Instructions:

Move indoors and stay indoors. Prepare for possible evacuation. Seek medical attention if you experience breathing difficulties. Follow the directions of local authorities.

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"The City of Calgary has declared a state of emergency as expected heavy rainfall combined with the potential of incoming high river flows could become severe.

The city is implementing its flood response plan with the deployment of sandbags and temporary dams to protect property and infrastructure.

Calgarians are advised to stay away from rivers and creeks as rising water may makes banks unstable.

Driving through flooded areas such as underpasses or children playing near storm water ponds and drains should also be avoided."

More here.

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cougar creek

Photo credit: Lauren Wheeler

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Turner Valley, a community southwest of Calgary, was placed under an emergency alert Thursday after a sour gas pipeline ruptured. The alert urged people to move indoors and to prepare for a possible evacuation.

What is sour gas, exactly, and what's the harm? Read more here.

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Our friends up the hill got in a bit of a pickle today when they headed to Canmore to cover the flooding.

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The Town of High River is now under an emergency evacuation alert. There is extremely dangerous and rapid flooding occurring in High River. Authorities are warning residents to move to high ground.

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There is a threat of extremely dangerous and rapid flooding in the County of Lethbridge. The County of Lethbridge declared a local state of emergency at 11:10 a.m. and issued an evacuation order for residents living in the Oldman River valley.

An evacuee reception centre is at the County Administration building at #100, 905 4th Avenue South downtown.

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