06 June 2007


It's still raining. The Deluge last night was pretty incredible. Flooded underpasses and abandoned cars all over the place. I guess the lightning show lit a few houses on fire too. I know June is supposed to be our rainy month, but this is ridiculous.
Flash floods grip city
UPDATED: 2007-06-06 01:46:41 MST
Lightning strikes and torrential rain cause unparalleled chaos across Calgary

Emergency crews waded into deep water yesterday in a city drenched by torrential rains which left roads closed, motorists stranded in semi-submerged cars, people literally swimming in the streets and basements flooded.

But while water stranded hundreds of Calgarians -- and delayed thousands in their travels -- many were soaking up kindness offered by Good Samaritans.

Sylvia Langlois and co-worker Nina Silverman were nearly waist-deep in water trying to push their car out of a massive puddle in the northeast when several strangers stopped to help.

"It was up to our waist," Silverman said, standing under an umbrella after several people helped get their car to higher ground.

"The car was floating."

Mark Belmonte and Rod Onoferychuk, helped the women get their car out of the water and then gave them a lift home.

"We saw these ladies in the water trying to push their car and people were just driving by," Onoferychuk said while a soaked Silverman and Langlois warmed up in his car.

"I don't want to get religious but that's what you do."

Insp. Luch Berti said citizens went out of their way to help emergency crews in the aftermath of what will, no doubt be, a memorable day for many.

"I think officers will talk about this years from now," he said.

"I think they will tell stories about submerged vehicles, and checking to see if people got out."

He said some officers were calling to see if they should take off their boots and put guns in the trunk so they could get to people needing help.

One man stuck in traffic, surrounded by water and running low on oxygen in his tank was rescued by cops who arrived in a 4X4, he said.

"I've never seen so many roadways shut down by officers that felt they were impassable," Berti said.

At the same time Berti said it was shocking to see a number of people putting themselves in potential peril by braving the waves and trying to travel down water-logged streets rather than using common sense and waiting out the worst of it.

Glenmore, Macleod and Deerfoot Trails were among major thoroughfares hardest hit while many cars were abandoned in deep water.

Lightning also posed problems, with two people taken to hospital after an apparent strike.

Flights at Calgary International Airport were delayed as well, due to concerns over lightning strikes.

And fire broke out at an apartment block in the 2400 of 17 A St. S.W., as well as a house in Tuscany, after they were hit by lightning.

Calgary Board of Education spokesman Ted Flitton said people were at John G. Diefenbaker school, at 6620 4 St. N.W. to clean up after an apparent blocked drain flooded the roof causing about 10 ceiling tiles to collapse pouring water in to the building.

Flitton said damage should be cleaned up by today.

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