Taking a Look at Calgary's Flooding History

Posted by on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 at 9:01pm.

Although the recent flooding here in Calgary was devastating, it's not the worst one that has ever hit this city. According to Harry Sanders, a historian, there were 3 other floods that occurred many years ago in Calgary that were even worse than the one that hit in June.The worst flooding periods happened in 1879, 1897 and then in 1902. These floods are listed with the worst one appearing first. In 1879, their were aboriginal peoplethat were living in the area but there wasn't a lot of settlement here except for the fort. Sanders says there was no measurement value attributed to the flood but according to all accounts it was the worst one.

During the second worst flood in 1897, buildings were flooded and bridges damaged. At the time, there were approximately 60 families affected that had to relocate to higher ground.

In 1902 the next flooding arrived, which damaged the bridge that was sitting in the same location where the Hillhurst Louise Bridge is situated now.

Other historic floods that occurred years ago took place in 1915, 1929 and 1932.

Before 1900, there weren't the dams that are in place now to help with flood waters like the Glenmore Reservoir, Barrier Lake Dam, Ghost Dam and Bearspaw Dam. These reservoirs offer a lot of water storage capacity and may be one of the reasons why this 2013 major flood was so unexpected by many.

Leave a Comment