Southern Alberta Residents in Canada Advised to Brace for Massive Rainfall, Floods

By Esther Tanquintic-Misa
June 17, 2014 2:15 PM EST

Southern Alberta Residents in Canada Advised to Brace for Massive Rainfall, Floods

Residents in Canada's southern Alberta have been warned to brace for massive rainfall and subsequent floods between Monday and Wednesday.

Environment Canada issued rainfall warnings on Monday morning for Kananaskis, Canmore, Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek, Waterton Lakes National Park and Fort Macleod. These areas could expect significant rainfall from the low-pressure system brewing in the Northern U.S.

Environment Canada said up to 80 mm of rains may be expected in the hardest hit areas through Tuesday. "Rain, at times heavy, is expected," EC said in the warning. "A low pressure system moving into the northern United States will bring significant rainfall to southern Alberta. The heaviest rain will begin this afternoon with total amounts of 50 to 80 millimetres expected before rainfall tapers off Wednesday morning."

A flood alert shortly after noon Monday was issued by Alberta Environment for the Wallaceville Area of High River, Crowsnest River and Willow Creek. It likewise issued high stream flow advisories for streams and rivers in the Bow, Oldman, Milk and South Saskatchewan River basins.

The Alberta government expects up to 70 mm of rain in the Bow River basin. As much as 125 mm of rain could accumulate in southern Alberta between the Oldman River basin and Cypress Hills.

"Once you get into triple-digit rainfall forecasts over a three-day period, localized flooding becomes a real possibility," Brett Soderholm, Weather Network meteorologist, said. "That said, Alberta has learned a lot since the 2013 floods and has contingency plans in place."

In June 2013, the flows of three major rivers rose to almost 10 times their normal rates in Alberta, prompting the declaration of thirty-two states of emergency across the province.

The massive flooding killed four people and displaced more than 100,000.

Calgary could also experience five to 10 mm of rain, with possible thunderstorms, through Wednesday.

"We are not particularly concerned, but we have to be prudent," Calgary Herald quoted mayor Naheed Nenshi.

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