May 16, 2014 4:26 pm
Updated: May 16, 2014 9:59 pm

Canmore’s Cougar Creek shored up ahead of spring runoff


CALGARY- In the blink of an eye, it was transformed from a serene creek to an ugly, raging river packed with debris. Now, those who live along Canmore’s Cougar Creek are breathing easy, thanks to a major overhaul set to protect them from another devastating flood.

“We are almost at the end of this part of the job,” said Mayor John Borroman, surveying the shored-up creek bed.

45,000 square metres of articulated concrete block mats have been put in place, along with a giant debris net installed upstream from the houses that line the creek.

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“During the second world war, the Germans were building these nets to protect harbours from submarines coming in,” Borroman explained. “They can withstand an amazing amount of force. This net is designed to expand, bulge with debris and catch vast quantities. The post are on pivots and they bend forward.”

The debris net was a quick solution, but will eventually be taken down and a more permanent structure will be put in its place.

Residents like Aaron Bryant, who lost his deck and backyard to the creek, are confident they are in much better shape this time around.

“I think it’s a lasting solution, I think it’s great,” Bryant said. “I’m not nervous about runoff this year.”

The $14 million project is scheduled to wrap up next week.

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