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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Flooding Inundates Part of Canadian Province

Footage posted on YouTube by a local resident of the flooding at Bragg Creek in southern Alberta.

Heavy rains have contributed to flooding in parts of the Canadian province of Alberta, where officials said Friday that about 75,000 people have been displaced from their homes. Swollen waterways burst banks, streets were flooded and in at least once instance the wreckage of a house was swept away by raging waters in the Bragg Creek area.

Heavy rain fell in the past 48 hours, in some places as much as normally falls in six months in the affected area in southern Alberta. In Calgary, the Bow River was described by the mayor, Nah eed Nenshi, as looking “like an ocean,” while the Elbow River is spilling over the top of a dam near the city.

There were power outages, road closings and mandatory evacuations, and officials said they have not even started to assess the extent of the damage to property owners.

A reporter on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said CBC staff members have been ordered to evacuate their Calgary studios.

About 75,000 residents in Calgary have been evacuated or displaced, some staying with family, friends or strangers rather than emergency shelters.

Dong Kim, a resident of Calgary, recorded footage from the banks near the Louise Bridge on Friday.

Footage from Friday of the Louise Bridge in Calgary.

Another resident, Andrew Morrison, recorded the fast-moving waters in the southwest of Bragg Creek in Alberta and in the streets of Bragg Creek itself.

Video of the washed-out Highway 66 bridge over Elbow River.
Debris floating down a street in Bragg Creek

CTV News footage showed resident ial areas and waterways swamped with water.

The Canadian government said that the military was being sent in to help as a state of emergency was declared for southern Alberta; 1,200 troops were being used as entire communities were submerged.

Follow Christine Hauser on Twitter @christineNYT.