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> Floods Wrap-Up

June 9, 2005

Here comes the sun – at least a little! Things look pretty good from here although the police maintain their surveillance at the bridge. They expect the voluntary evacuation order will be lifted today. Water levels remain very high, but have fallen about half a metre overnight. The snowmelt from the mountains is feeding the rivers and the Alberta Environment Flood Watch remains in effect. There are lots of large puddles around, but things are drying out and getting back to normal.

The most serious concerns are in Redwood Meadows just downstream. The berm that protects the community from flood waters is compomised and residents are on evacuation alert.

Click a photo to see an enlargement


Compared to this view down page, the water level has dropped significantly. But the river has taken a lot of the shoreline with it, including trees and rocks. We’ll have a different river to play in this summer.

elbow at trading post

Although the water is down about half-a-metre, it is still raging. The culvert at left is an indication of the damage done. Major repairs to Bracken Road are needed. The good news is that the riprap along the right bank held and the Trading Post was unaffected.


June 8, 2005

On the day after the Elbow River and the Bragg Creek flooded, prompting a voluntary evacuation order, things have calmed down quite a bit. The rain stopped overnight, but the rain fell as snow in the mountains and as it melts, it will keep the water levels high over the next day or two. This was a big flood, but it could become a really big one if it begins to rain again and the snow melts at the same time. As of 11:35 AM a flood watch advisory from Alberta Environment was still in effect.

Banded Peak school is no longer an emergency response centre, classes are being held although there is no bus service. The voluntary evacuation order was still in place this morning and the police continue their roadblock at the bridge over the Elbow River. That bridge is high and solid. It poses no danger, but the 3 small bridges over the creek that allow access to West Bragg Creek could form a dam if trees, rocks and debris build up under them. If they washed out residents would be stranded as there is only one access road. Bracken Rd. is a wreck. The 4 huge culverts that carried water under the road into the Elbow were washed away. One of them is over a kilometre downstream near the Balsam Avenue bridge in the hamlet.

Kananaskis is closed for the most part. Highway 66 is closed at Elbow Falls and most Day Use areas have limited or no service. Elbow Falls recreation area is closed. (See the Kananaskis Closures page for details).

A few homes have been flooded, but most people live on relatively high land and the risk of flooding is not great.

Aftermath – Day 2, Wednesday, June 8, 2005

This photo, taken about 2.5 km. along Wintergreen Rd., is of a dilapidated log cabin submerged in the water.
Photo by: Victor Pedenko

elbow from bridge

The Elbow River taken from the Balsam St. bridge. The small white dot to the left of the island (centre, top) is a culvert that used to be under Bracken Road quite a ways upstream, near the Trading Post.


A couple of culverts (2 of 4) that washed out from Bracken Rd. They should be buried in the bank, upstream, on the opposite side of the river.

Although the rain has stopped, water levels have not lowered very much. Things look much the same as they did the day before – during the flood.

Water Flow

water flow graph

This chart shows the volume of water flowing through Bragg Creek in the Elbow River on June 10, measured in cubic metres per second. The red line is the average flow. The blue line is the flow since last April.

Chart is prepared by Alberta Environment

June 7, 2005

Although there were quite a few emergency vehicles (Police and M.D.) around the Hamlet at 2 p.m. when these photos were taken, only Bracken Rd. was closed. The worst situation was on the Elbow near the Trading Post where massive culverts that carried water under Bracken Rd. had broken free and were sitting downstream. The water was very high and moving very fast, carrying trees along with it.

West Bragg Creek is under a voluntary evacuation advisory as of 8 P.M. Residents are advised to collect at Banded Peak School or Redwood Community Centre. Police say they may close the Elbow River bridge depending on conditions.

As of 5:30 PM they recommend that people can overnight at the Springbank Park for All Seasons. Bring medications, blankets, sleeping bags, but no pets. Collect at the school or Redwood before going to Springbank.

Photos taken Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Click an image to see an enlarged photo.

Police are advising people to voluntarily evacuate West Bragg Creek. They have set up a road block at the Elbow River bridge.

The washed out culverts can be seen in the centre and centre-right of this photo of the Elbow River, taken from near the Trading Post.

The Elbow River bridge on Balsam Avenue. Inset a photo of low water from last summer. The island is inundated.

View from the pullout downstream shows the bridge spans a raging torrent of high water. The force of the water has eroded river banks turning the water the colour of mud.

From the bridge looking downstream

From the bridge looking upstream

Bracken Road barrier

M.D. work crew at Bracken Road

Bridge over the Bragg Creek on Bracken Road

First bridge on West Bragg Creek Road

Flood upstream at second bridge over the creek on West Bragg Creek Road

Second bridge over the creek on West Bragg Creek Road

Third bridge over the creek in West Bragg Creek.

One of the access roads through Wild Rose is flooded, but passable.

Heavy equipment stands by along with other vehicles up to their axles in a massive puddle.

Another shopping centre, another massive puddle.