June 11, 2014 7:20 pm

Sky high technique used for flood repairs in Bearspaw

CALGARY- A unique repair effort is underway northwest of Calgary, in an effort to shore up some critical infrastructure ahead of the spring flooding season.

Last June, the Bearspaw dam held back millions of cubic metres of water when the flood hit. However, the disaster damaged part of the river bank surrounding it—prompting Operation Stone Drop.

On Wednesday, employees at TransAlta’s hydro plant used an aerial technique to ensure safety while minimizing the environmental impact.

“In a traditional sense of how we would go about this type of restoration work, we would actually have people work in the river and on the ground trying to do that repair,” explains Stacey Hatcher from TransAlta. “So ,we are attempting something different, doing the repairs by air using a helicopter.”

The shoreline is being reinforced with heavy stones, and the chopper is moving more than 100 tons of rock over three days.

The dam and hydro plant were built back in 1954, and generate an average of 70,000 megawatt hours of power every day.

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