Friday, May 16, 2014

Boating advisory for Bow and Elbow Rivers still in place

With summer and the promise of warm weather coming, many Calgarians are looking to the rivers for a source of recreation. However, with the flooding of last year, Calgarians are reminded that many parts of the Bow and Elbow Rivers have changed – from the flow of the river near the 10th Street Bridge, to the metal and concrete debris which are scattered through the riverbed and riverbanks.

A river safety advisory was re-issued this week to remind river users that due to these conditions, they should exercise caution and always scout, assess and decide from shore before going on the water.

Due to these changes presenting new dangers, the Calgary Fire Department, along with their Partners in River Safety at Animal & Bylaw Services and the Calgary Police Service, recommend Calgarians exercise caution when considering going out on the city’s rivers.

New hazards to consider

“The debris that is in and around our rivers, as well as other changes caused by last year’s flood, mean there are many new hazards to consider when assessing the safety of going on the river,” said Ken Uzeloc, Deputy Chief with the Calgary Fire Department.

“You can see around the Louise Bridge abutment that with this new river flow, strong current and the logs that are in the way, it can be dangerous for a raft, canoe or boat to pass through,” said Deputy Chief Uzeloc. “Last year we attended more than 20 calls near the Louis Bridge where we attended to boaters who were in trouble. We want to prevent these incidents from happening this year.”

Construction projects along riverbanks

In addition to the changes to the river caused by the June 2013 flood, there are also several City of Calgary construction and development projects happening along the riverbanks that may affect safe boating. Please visit The City of Calgary’s interactive map and select “flood recovery” to learn about ongoing projects.

For more information on river safety the Calgary Fire Department shares valuable tips for safety in around our rivers and important tips for safe rafting.

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