Alberta flood: Then and now

One year later, Maclean’s takes a look at the remarkable recovery

In June of last year, unprecedented flooding hit southern Alberta, unleashing more than just a torrent of muddy water. It also revealed the boundless capacity of Canadians to deal with whatever nature throws their way. Now, one year later, Maclean’s takes a look at the remarkable recovery, revisiting the site of photos taken during the Alberta flood of 2013 to witness the progress made.

Drag the button in the centre of each image to see more of the two scenes.

Calgary’s Stampede Park was submerged by flood waters, but an intense clean-up effort allowed it to reopen in time for the Stampede, just a few weeks later. Today there’s little evidence of the disaster that threatened the annual event. (Left: Gavin Young/Calgary Herald. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)

Calgary’s 3rd Ave SW, seen the day after the deluge and a year later, back to business. (Left: Gavin John/QMI, right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)

Flood waters of the Elbow River tore into a home on the west side of the town of Bragg Creek, Alberta. (Left: Mike Drew/Calgary Sun/QMI. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)

A man skateboards through a flooded downtown street in Calgary—less of a challenge, one year on. (Left: Melissa Renwick/Reuters. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin.)

Homes in Canmore, about 100 km west of Calgary, suffered damage after flood waters in Cougar Creek nearly washed them away. Today, the banks of the Bow River in Canmore are buttressed by 3,700 articulated concrete mattresses, made on site, to prevent future erosion. (Left: John Gibson/Getty Images. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)

Two High River women and a dog were saved by a canoe-paddling neighbour, during the flood that many called ‘unprecedented’. That same spot in High River is now dry, though residents are finding the government’s disaster-response program insufficient. (Left: Mike Sturk/Reuters. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)

Dump trucks, front-end loaders and boats were used to transport evacuees after flood waters hit High River. Few signs remain of the deluge today. (Left: Lyle Aspinall/Calgary Sun/QMI. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)

The Bow River overflowed its banks into Calgary last June, with flood waters forcing the evacuation of the city’s entire downtown core. Downtown Calgary is back to business a year later, though it took two weeks after the flooding for residents and power to return to the area. (Left: Andy Clark/Reuters. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)

A person rides his bikes as another picks his bike up in the streets of Calgary soon after the flooding. (Left: Jonathan Hayward/CP. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)

An unidentified worker with the ATCO utilities company carries Marcus Jens, age 10, who had become trapped in a flooded house with his younger brother. (Photographs by Chris Bolin)

Three days after the flood in High River, the water still remained in areas of town. One year on, the same intersection has dried out. (Left: MCpl Bern LeBlanc/Department of National Defence/QMI. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)

The floodwaters have since receded on the Siksika Reserve, which was nearly swallowed by the Bow River last year. (Photographs by Chris Bolin)

A stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway near Canmore was destroyed due to the flood. One year later, the highway has been repaired. (Left: Craig Douce/Rocky Mountain Outlook/CP. Right: Photograph by Chris Bolin)


Still waiting, still worrying in High River