Canmore Flood of 2013

This is now my 3rd summer in Canmore. Each year it seems as if we deal with weather that we call monsoon June or Junuary. 
I thought that this would be the case again this year. In May it started to snow again... 

 Even if it rained in the valley, snow gathered on the peaks.

However, the weather never stopped us from getting our workouts in.

Yet, when June began, the amazing weather began. Most days were beautiful. The grasses were green, the trails were dry and Canmore was our own fairytale land of adventure.

We had about 2 weeks of warm weather and sun. After our bike rides we would go to a little pool of water in Cougar Creek (the runoff area for the mountains) for a cold tub. This are looks like a dry river bed, with a few pools of water here and there. 

However, last Thursday we were woken up by a knock on the door telling us the road leading into town was closed. We sort of laughed this off thinking, "How bad could it be? We woke up early for this?" Yet, overnight the rain of monsoon June that had been building for the last two beautiful weeks, hit us all at once. 

Apparently, it rained so much overnight that the water from the mountains drained into Cougar Creek. This creek usually has very little water and it grew to be a huge, raging river.
This is what we saw when we arrived on the scene.

 Throughout the day we saw many things float down the river including hot tubs, pipes and this trampoline... This yard was gone within 3 hours of this picture being taken.

People along the river were evacuated, and those that were able to moved some of their household items into neighbouring houses.
This has always been one of my favourite houses in Canmore. In front of this house was a huge area of rock and trees, where the bike path to one of my favourite trails ran through.

Never again will I underestimate the power of water. Throughout the day volunteers were working hard to make sure everyone stayed safe and try to save as much as they could. 

Within minutes of the machine on the right arriving on scene, the water took the road away. The trampoline used to be behind that large tree in the middle of the picture.

 The devastation that Canmore witnessed last Thursday is still incomprehensible. My heart goes out to the families who lost their houses and lots. For much of the day we were unable to leave our little neighbourhood because of the loss of that road. Eventually an access road opened, and we were able to get into town. Our power was off for a little while, our gas was off for a few days, and we are still under a boil water advisory, however our rental house was in a good location and we are safe.

This "creek" empties into the Bow River which then makes it's way to Calgary. We received many worried notes from our friends in Calgary, however the next day Calgary began experiencing the flood in a huge way. I have not been to Calgary yet because there is still limited travel to and from Calgary (especially travel into Canmore- you need official documentation of habitation here). However, I know many people were evacuated from their homes and Calgary experienced huge devastation.

My thoughts and prayers are with these families. I think everyone who is working hard to keep everyone safe, especially those who woke up the families at 3am to make sure that they left their houses.

Kindness always presents itself in these horrible situations. I have heard stories of people putting up families, giving people rides and one man paid for a woman's groceries when her cards didn't work.

Alberta has a lot of work ahead of them, but Canadians are always strong in adversity.

We are all currently safe in Canmore, weathering the bouts of pouring rain that come and go each day, even when it means sprinting up hills in pouring rain.

And to think... a week ago we were surfing in on of the rivers here...

You never know what each day will hold. 


  1. great article Erin and you must have picked up some tips from your dad on photography

  2. it is hard to imagine such cold weather all year round. but it sound fun to have a timely vacation. thank you for this post. keep updating more


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