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Calgary business owners taking precautions as Bow River rises

Click to play video: 'Calgary businesses take steps to protect buildings from possible flooding' Calgary businesses take steps to protect buildings from possible flooding
As the risk of flooding in Calgary remains Tuesday, local businesses continue to prepare. As Craig Momney explains, some are even hoping the city will step in and point them in the right direction. – Jun 14, 2022

Business owners in and around the areas at risk of flooding in Calgary are concerned as the Bow River continues to rise.

“(I’m) just really scared because this happened before,” said Hutch Cafe owner Gary Wong.

Wong is referring to his restaurant flooding in 2013 along with other businesses in the area. The restaurant located on 1 Avenue S.W., is just metres away from the rushing waters of the Bow River. While he wasn’t the owner at the time of the 2013 floods, he’s willing to do all he can to keep his business open.

Read more: ‘A whole lot more’: Calgary braces for second day of heavy rainfall

“I don’t have a backup plan myself right now,” Wong said.  “The only thing I’m thinking of is I would like to find some sandbags to put on the front door, and all the doors.”

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Wong hopes the local government will provide some guidance to businesses that could potentially be affected by a flood.

It’s been less than 24 hours since the city declared a state of emergency and on Tuesday, several other businesses in flood-risk areas also took precautions.

“I’m concerned, but I’m not overly concerned,” said Patrick Rowsome, one of the owners of Sunny Side Art Supplies on 10 Street N.W.

“In 2013 we were ok — we didn’t flood then,” he said. “Seems like, from the reports, that it’s not going to be as bad so we’re hoping, but we’re getting everything up off the floor.”

Click to play video: 'Calgary crews respond to wind damage as flood risk appears to drop' Calgary crews respond to wind damage as flood risk appears to drop
Calgary crews respond to wind damage as flood risk appears to drop – Jun 14, 2022

But for other business owners like Teatro Restaurant Group, the concern involves multiple businesses on both sides of the river.

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“Both of the businesses that we have have basements that have a kitchen in them and productions so we just started to move product out, getting everything above frankly, the basement level, moving electronics and get everything up off the floor,” said Teatro COO Matthew Batey.

Officials with the Calgary Stampede are also paying close attention to current weather conditions with just weeks left until the summer’s biggest event.

Stampede was greatly affected by the 2013 flood, however, since then officials say the park has been improved with riverbank hardening, flood walls and improvements in most buildings.

Read more: Calgary declares state of emergency ahead of heavy rainfall

In a statement to Global News, Stampede officials said “the team has considerable experience in dealing with flood preparedness and conducts annual flood exercises.”

The organization added they are “in constant contact with the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, various other City of Calgary entities and local meteorologists as this weather event unfolds.”

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