May 23, 2013 3:19 pm
Updated: May 23, 2013 9:51 pm

Calgarians warned to stay away from rivers as water levels rise

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CALGARY- Both the city and emergency crews are warning people to be prepared, as heavy rain continues to pour in Calgary.

30 to 50 mm or rain is expected over the next couple of days, leading to increased water flows in both the Bow and Elbow Rivers. That’s prompted the Fire Department to advise people not to go boating, and to stay off the river banks as fast-moving water can cause the banks to collapse.

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“It’s just the start,” says Larry Fisher from the Calgary Fire Department. “The more it rains, the harder it rains, the worse it’s going to get.”

Those who live close to rivers are also at risk of flooding, and homeowners are being reminded to check that their sump pumps are working, clear eaves troughs and gutters, and point downspouts away from home foundations.

“We want Calgarians to know that with any potential hazard, preparedness is key,“ says Greg Solecki, manager of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency. “With the amount of predicted rainfall, we advise Calgarians to take preventative measures around their home to reduce the risk of water damage.”

Important items in basements should also be moved to higher ground.

Anyone who sees someone in trouble near a river is asked to call 911 immediately, while plugged storm drains should be reported to 311.

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