The premier warned that communities downstream of Calgary have not yet felt the full force of the floodwaters.
It had been a rainy week throughout much of Alberta, but on Thursday the Bow River Basin was battered with up to 100 millimeters (four inches) of rain. Environment Canada’s forecast calls for more rain in the area, but in much smaller amounts.
Calgary is not alone in its weather-related woes. There have been flashpoints of chaos from Banff and Canmore and Crowsnest Pass in the Rockies and south to Lethbridge.
More than a dozen towns have declared states of emergency. Entire communities, including High River and Bragg Creek, near Calgary are under mandatory evacuation orders.
Some of the worst flooding hit High River, where it’s estimated half of the people in the town have experienced flooding in their homes.
Military helicopters plucked about 30 people off rooftops in the area. Others were rescued by boat or in buckets of heavy machinery. Some even swam for their lives from stranded cars.
A spokesperson for Defense Minister Peter MacKay said 354 soldiers are being deployed to the entire flood zone.
Pictures from inside the mountain town of Canmore show a raging river ripping at the foundations of homes.
Near Black Diamond on Thursday, the Highwood River swept away two people in a mobile home. One person, a man, was found, but the second — a woman — is still missing.