After days of rain in many areas of Alberta, rainfall warnings have been dropped for the entire province.
Environment Canada issued special weather statements on Sunday, warning of significant rain for areas around Calgary, Airdrie, Canmore and Crowsnest Pass. At the time, the weather agency said 75 to 100 millimetres of rain was expected by Wednesday morning.
As of 7 a.m. Wednesday, anywhere between 60 mm and 129 mm of rain had fallen since Monday in different parts of Calgary and the surrounding areas.
“An intense low-pressure system moved into Alberta on Monday and stalled out over our province Tuesday,” Global Calgary meteorologist Tiffany Lizee said.
“In a matter of 48 hours, over 100 mm of rain fell onto parts of southwest and west-central Alberta. The rain finally pushed eastward and into Saskatchewan on Wednesday, but the back end of the system proved to be quite intense as well, with strong winds gusting over 90 km/h at times.
“As we look ahead at the weekend, our focus shifts to possible thunderstorms in west-central Alberta.”
The City of Calgary declared a state of local emergency (SOLE) on Monday afternoon out of precaution, in preparation for the anticipated rainfall and potential flooding.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the SOLE will be in place for the next two weeks and will allow emergency responders to move quickly as needed.
On Tuesday, strong winds combined with rain knocked power out to thousands of Calgarians. The windy, wet conditions also led to trees being knocked down around the city.
The City of Calgary said early Wednesday afternoon that the Elbow River has reached peak flow and isn’t anticipated to rise any higher. The city confirmed the Bow River crested Wednesday afternoon.
Water levels are expected to remain high for the coming days.
The boating advisory remained in effect Wednesday for the Bow and Elbow rivers. The City of Calgary said it will be in place until water levels taper off to a safe level.
The Bowness Park, St. Patrick’s Island and Prince’s Island Park remain closed until further notice.
“While we received less precipitation than expected we want to remind Calgarians to stay off the river and continue to exercise caution while the Local State of Emergency is in place. The flood resiliency planning and mitigations undertaken since 2013 have continued to support our response to this weather event,” said Sue Henry, Calgary Emergency Management Agency chief.
All of the rainfall warnings in place in Alberta had been dropped by late Wednesday morning, although wind warnings remained in place for some parts of southeastern Alberta.
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— with files from Adam Toy and Lauren Pullen, Global News