Monday, May 30, 2011

Calgary's rivers currently unsafe

Calgary's rainy season can create hazardous conditions around streams, catch basins and on both rivers. The past several days of rain have created extremely unsafe conditions because of increased water levels, flow rates and debris in the water.

Calgary's skyline. Photo by Mtruch.
As of May 28, a perimeter ban has been issued for the Elbow and Bow Rivers and Calgarians are advised that the rivers are currently unsafe for any type of activity. This applies to all parts of the Elbow and Bow Rivers within city limits. The ban is necessary for public safety and means that any and all activities near or on the water are restricted until further notice and the bylaw will be strictly enforced. 

"Our goal is always to try to prevent a tragedy from happening by educating people before they get in the water," says Animal and Bylaw Services Director Bill Bruce. “We’re hoping people are getting the message that the rivers are dangerous right now, and if they are not getting that message, we will ramp up our resources.”

Additionally, there are several pathway and pathway underpass sections, in low-lying areas next to the Bow River, Elbow River and Nose Creek, that are closed due to the high water levels. Please obey all closures while the City of Calgary Parks continues to monitor conditions. These sections will re-open once the closed portions are cleaned up and there is no longer a public safety risk. 

Supporting The City in its efforts to keep people off or away from the water helps reduce risks to the public and  to first responders who would be exposed to risks performing rescue or recovery duties. If you find yourself, or anyone else, in a dangerous situation in or on the water, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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