Planning Flood Resistant Communities

Planning Flood Resistant Communities

Download our full Great Calgary 2013 policy book

The floods that occurred in southern Alberta in June of 2013 were unexpected and unprecedented in their intensity. The damage the floods left was unimaginable and Calgary may not fully recover for years to come. While floods like those in June may not occur again for a long time, severe weather events are becoming more frequent globally and Calgary is exposed to the potential of overland flooding. Consequently, adequate measures must be in place to address the possibility of recurrence.

A large concern for residents is that overland flooding is generally not covered in any home insurance policy in Canada,  and businesses require a specific rider on their standard policy to be covered for overland flooding. In addition, sewer backups in heavy rain are becoming more frequent. While the Government of Alberta has committed to the recovery process, it has also stated that it will not provide rebuilding assistance for residents in flood plains and flood prone areas in the future.  This has a significant impact on Calgary, since many communities and parts of the downtown core line the Bow and Elbow Rivers.

Notwithstanding the flood’s immense impact on residential areas, the growth, development, and competitiveness of Calgary was threatened as many of Calgary’s major areas of economic productivity were affected. With limited aid coming from the province in future events, The City of Calgary must be active in ensuring that long-term resistance to flooding exists so that productivity losses are minimized and Calgary can remain competitive and productive both during and immediately after these events.

In recognizing that flooding may occur in the future in areas that are vital to the growth, development, and everyday business operations of Calgary, the Calgary Chamber recommends The City of Calgary:

  • Identify best practices and proceed with flood mitigation in areas adjacent to the Bow and Elbow Rivers.
  • Create preventative measures that address the “worst possible scenario” to ensure minimal future damage.
  • Address aging infrastructure to mitigate sewage-related flooding in high rainfall events throughout Calgary.
  • Work with neighboring municipalities to identify and develop solutions that address concerns across the entire floodplain.

Download our full Great Calgary 2013 policy book

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