2013 Alberta Flood Timeline

Friday, August 2, 2013

Alberta was affected by flooding in June 2013. Here is a timeline of the Alberta flood, which exposes the natural disaster unfolding.

2013 Alberta Flood Timeline

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<img src="https://www.westerndirect.ca/assets/Uploads/Article-Images/2013-Alberta-Flood-Timeline.png" width="540">
<p>2013 Alberta Flood Timeline - An infographic by the team at <a href="https://www.westerndirect.ca">2013 Alberta Flood Timeline</a></p>

What would prove to be Alberta's worst flood of all time started on June 8 after a slow-moving weather system that started in Saskatchewan moved over the province. By the time the rain came to an end, between 80 and 100 millimeters had fallen over northern Alberta alone.

It wasn't long before Alberta's infrastructure began to crumble and life came to a virtual standstill. On June 10, a 30-kilometer section of Highway 63 was blocked off due to massive flooding. Just a day later, the high water levels became too much to withstand, as mandatory evacuation orders were put into effect thorughout much of Alberta, with Fort McMurray declaring a state of emergency. Meanwhile, hoping to avoid serious health complications, Alberta Health Services declared a boil water advisory, preventing homeowners from being able to drink from the tap.

Storm moves southward

More than a week after the first raindrops fell, Alberta Environment downgraded the flood warnings to flood watches, specifically in the Northeastern quadrant of Alberta. But the province wasn't out of the woods yet, as four days later on June 19, torrential downpours fell on Southern Alberta.

In a period of 24 hours, dozens of additional communities issued their own states of emergency, including the hardest hit areas of Canmore, High River, Calgary and Lethbridge.  Roadway closures remained in place and there were several confirmed reports of main traffic areas being destroyed, specifically the Trans-Canada Highway after mudslides made access impossible.

Even though more than 100 millimeters of precipitation had collected, Albertans were on high alert, as forecasters predicted that the totals could double in a matter of days.

It wasn't until June 22 that weather conditions began to improve. A day earlier, 75,000 homeowners were forced to abandon their residences after the Bow and Elbow Rivers crested. Within less than 72 hours, more than 325 millimeters of rain had fallen in parts of Alberta, eventually leading to thousands of home insurance claims and an estimated $3 to $5 billion in damages, according to the Alberta government. In total, nearly three dozen communities were affected by the flooding.

While the Canadian and provincial governments have made the financial resources available to help Albertans recover, the complete rebuilding process is believed to take up to ten years.

Comment direct on Twitter

  • June 8, 2013, Slow-Moving weather system in Saskatchewan begins dumping 80-100mm of rain over Alberta Tweet.

  • June 21, 2013 due to rising water from the Bow and Elbow Rivers 75,000 people are evacuated from the area. Tweet.

  • In just 72 hours as much as 325mm of rain fell in parts of Southern Alberta Tweet.

  • The Saddledome floods up to the eighth row of seats Tweet.

  • 31 communities were directly affected by the floods Tweet.

  • Officials predicting that the rebuilding process could take roughly 10 years Tweet.