Canada column for Sunday, June 23/13
THE CANADIAN REPORT
By Jim Fox
Massive flooding in Alberta has resulted in three deaths and led to more than 100,000 people being forced from their homes.
Calgary and dozens of communities declared states of emergency as rain-swollen rivers overflowed their banks.
Entire communities including High River and Bragg Creek were under mandatory evacuation orders on Friday while in Calgary, the downtown was deserted as businesses and schools were closed.
The Mounties called in the military for assistance in removing people by helicopters from their rooftops and where roads had been washed out.
The Edmonton police force sent about 100 officers to help out in Calgary and protect unoccupied neighborhoods.
Days of heavy rain flooded the Bow River Basin causing problems in a wide area from Banff and Canmore in the Rockies to Calgary and beyond in the north and south to Lethbridge.
South of Calgary, three people were killed in the high waters including two women swept to their deaths by the Highwood River.
Water levels on the Bow River were expected to begin subsiding over the weekend, said Bruce Burrell of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.