The rainfall warning in effect for a large part of southern Alberta over the past couple of days prompted me to spend some time reflecting on the consequences of last year’s flood, particularly in our part-time home town of Canmore.
Some of the most dramatic images from the June 2013 flood were taken at Cougar Creek in Canmore; in case you missed it, this May 2014 clip from Global Calgary includes video from the peak of the flood plus a good overview of the Cougar Creek flood mitigation measures put in place over the last eleven months.
Cougar Creek is just one of several creeks severely affected last June. We’ve been keeping a particularly close eye on the post-flood changes along Three Sisters Creek, at the eastern edge of Canmore. This YouTube video was filmed at Three Sisters Creek during last June’s torrential rains. After a creek-jumping, rock-hopping exploration of the post-flood Three Sisters Creek, we posted several before/after photos in this blog post.
As of early June 2014, the short-term flood mitigation work along Three Sisters Creek appears to be complete. Last summer, volunteers constructed new bridges over the creek to get the west end of the Highline Trail re-opened as soon as possible. Crews have reinforced the culverts where the creek crosses under the Three Sisters Parkway. And Mother Nature is doing her part, too. While the Yellow Mountain Avens that used to grow along the creek will take a few years to re-establish, there are plenty of Calypso orchids blooming along the Highline Trail near the creek.
As we join many Albertans keeping a close eye on the weather this week, we’re thankful for all the hard work that’s gone into preparing Canmore’s creeks for the next round of snow melt and spring rain…