Cleanup underway, power restored after intense August storm hit Calgary

WATCH ABOVE: A selection of video from Tuesday’s storm in Calgary.

CALGARY – A massive cleanup was underway after much of Calgary was battered by an intense summer storm on Tuesday, as crews prepared for the possibility of another storm Wednesday afternoon.

The storm brought heavy rain and high winds which hit the city and the surrounding areas around 5 p.m.

The storm impacted dozens of communities, leaving toonie-sized hail, flooding underpasses and blowing the roof off of a northeast complex. Calgary Housing is currently investigating and working with five families to provide shelter.

Roof blown off in Calgary NE
The roof was reportedly blown off a residential building in Calgary’s northeast during a storm on Aug. 4, 2015. Submitted by John Crassoski

READ MORE: Calgary hail storm, flash flooding spurs #yycGoodDeed Good Samaritans

Both 311 and 911 experienced high call volumes during the storm. As of 12 p.m. Wednesday, the city’s Parks department was working on 113 tree-related calls, mostly for hanging tree branches and limbs.

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Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) deputy chief Sue Henry said 246 calls were made to 911 in the half-hour period around 5:30 p.m.

“This is six-times the average call volume that they receive at this time,” she added. “Fortunately, it occurred during a shift change that allowed 911 staff that were oncoming and off-going to be able to answer calls.”

In total, there were 630 calls made to 911 between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. resulting in 440 dispatches of emergency crews.

Henry says the majority of 311 calls they received were for catch basin concerns.

Watch below: CEMA and city officials provide an update on the storm response at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday

What to do if your storm drain is clogged

Anyone who needs to report a clogged storm drain or any other issues with one of the city’s 48,000 catch basins is asked to contact 311 or complete an online 311 request.

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Officials warn not to attempt to clean a catch basin if it’s submerged in water, as you cannot be sure if the grate is intact, presenting a safety risk.

A clogged storm drain causes a street to flood in Douglasdale on Tuesday, August 4, 2015.
A clogged storm drain causes a street to flood in Douglasdale on Tuesday, August 4, 2015. Global News / Melissa Ramsay

Impacts on Calgary roads

Though westbound Memorial Drive from just past Edmonton Trail to 3 Street N.W. and the Inglewood Underpass were closed earlier Wednesday, the city’s Roads department said all roads were open as of 1:30 p.m.

Henry couldn’t confirm how many people were carried from flooded underpasses during the storm, but stressed that no one should enter underpasses if they see water.

Roads spokesperson Dan Jones said residents should be attentive to material that builds up on streets and try to clear it as long as the weather allows it.

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“If people are out there now while the weather is good and they can see it, remove, it get it out of the way, that’s the sort of stuff that will flow down in water,” he said. “You’ll see the grate itself will plug fairly easily. We have to keep it open enough to let the water in, so preventing those blockages from building up should help.”

A Parks spokesperson said tree debris can be taken to landfills free of charge until Aug. 16. Smaller debris can be put in black bins, or cut up in pieces and placed next to black bins for pickup.

City officials warned pedestrians, drivers and cyclists to travel slowly and carefully through deep puddles, and to be cautious of broken branches hanging over roads and pathways.

Calgary storm
A summer storm hit Calgary on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, causing flash flooding, power outages and leaving behind significant damage. Global News

Enmax outages

At the height of the storm, 35,000 Enmax customers were without power. As of 8 a.m. on Wednesday, about 100 customers continued to be impacted. By 2 p.m., there were no remaining outages, according to the Enmax outage site.