No boating on Bow and Elbow Rivers until further notice: City of Calgary

Calgarians are being asked to refrain from taking boats and other watercraft out on the Bow or Elbow Rivers due to a high streamflow advisory.

“The expected flow rates will be higher than we’ve seen all year,” Calgary Fire Department spokesperson Carol Henke explained in a Thursday news release.

“Runoff from rainfall and melting snow in the mountains is causing cold water temperatures, increased floating debris and high turbidity in both rivers — which makes for very poor visibility and dangerous conditions.”

The dangerous water conditions prompted the CFD to issue a boating advisory for Calgary’s rivers.

In addition, Calgarians are being asked to be cautious around the riverbanks as the fast-moving water can erode and destabilize them, making them especially dangerous.

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The high streamflow has also prompted the city to temporarily close the Glenmore Reservoir for recreational use.

Watch out for pathway closures

Cyclists and pedestrians are asked to watch for low-lying areas where the rivers can cover trails.

Pathways at underpasses where flooding occurs will be closed over the coming days, the city said.

In instances where just the underpass is closed, Calgarians are asked to use the overland route. If a section of pathway larger than an underpass is closed, a detour will be provided.

Could Calgary be in for some flooding?

Although widespread overbank flooding is not anticipated, the city warned it can occur at any time — and the period between May 15 and July 15 is when the city is most likely to experience flooding.

In the event water rises above the curbs on both sides of a street, Calgarians are asked to:

  • Avoid walking or driving through the water due to concealed open manholes, and instead, take an alternative route.
  • Avoid driving through a flooded underpass; it may strand you and your vehicle in rising water.
  • Stay a safe distance from storm drainage outfalls. When water rushes through a stormwater outfall and into a river or stream, it can be forceful enough to overpower and injure people.

To learn more about flood risk and how to stay prepared for potential flooding, visit the City of Calgary’s website.

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