Town of Cochrane cleaning up after Friday morning flooding

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Town of Cochrane cleaning up after Friday flooding
WATCH: The Town of Cochrane experienced flooding on Friday after heavy rainfall backed up storm drains, leaving behind a mess for residents. Adam MacVicar reports – Jun 21, 2019

The Town of Cochrane is cleaning up after some neighbourhoods flooded on Friday morning.

Residents in the Sunset Ridge neighbourhood grabbed snow shovels to clear a thick layer of mud off driveways and sidewalks once the water subsided.

Michael Vickers only moved into the community 10 months ago and said he was shocked when he looked out his window on Friday morning.

“It was pretty catastrophic. The water just kept flowing more and more closer to the house,” Vickers said. “It was a hard thing to see.”

The water forced Vickers and many others in the neighbourhood to stay home from work on Friday, trying to gather valuables from their garages and driveways as the water quickly rose.

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Just down the street, Tasha Halvorson and her neighbours were facing the same dilemma.

“I looked outside and there was water coming halfway up the driveway,” Halvorson said. “There was water halfway up the doors of the vehicle on the street, just water absolutely everywhere.”

According to the Town of Cochrane, the town’s stormwater system simply couldn’t handle the heavy rainfall, which began in the overnight hours between Thursday and Friday.

“The initial calls came in around 6 a.m. to our fire crews and they responded,” Town of Cochrane chief administrative officer Suzanne Gaida said. “Our fire crews were out, we got our roads and parks crews out right away to assist.”

Fire crews went door to door to let residents know what was going on, as town crews worked to clear the storm drains, which were clogged with sediment and debris that washed from a nearby development.

Although the flooding began in the Sunset Ridge neighbourhood, the Glenbow and Heritage Hills communities also saw localized flooding.

According to town officials, flooding is rare in the community, but the damage is minimal, and there have only been a few reports of flooded basements.

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“June tends to be a month where we get a lot of rain so we’re always watching and ready,” Gaida said. “Overland [flooding] is not something we usually experience in so many different places, although we responded and were ready.”

Town crews were also putting up sandbags near Cochrane Ranch, where trails and ditches were flooding.

With more rain expected in the forecast in the coming days, Gaida said officials will be monitoring water levels in rivers and storm ponds throughout the community but is confident the storm system will be able to handle the next wave of showers.

“Environment Canada has informed us that we shouldn’t see a [weather] cell like that in the future again, so it will be a drizzle rain that our storm system should be able to handle,” Gaida said.

Back in Sunset Ridge, neighbours are in the midst of a messy cleanup, but are happy everyone is safe and sound.

“Pretty scary start to the day,” Vickers said. “Just thankful that everyone is safe and that we have not had our basement flooded.”

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