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Jun 24 2013

A Few Good Reads (6/24/13): Near 1,000 Dead in Uttarakhand, India Flooding as the Rain Continues, the Clean Up Begins in Alberta, Canada

This Week: The rescue efforts continue in the mountainous state of Uttarakhand, India as the rain continues and near 1,000 are confirmed dead with many still missing, and the aftermath of the record flooding in Calgary and Alberta, Canada.

Uttarakhand: 10,000 still stranded as rain, landslides hamper rescue operations (Times of India)

Fresh rain, landslides and cloudburst on Monday sent shudders in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand impeding operations to evacuate over 10,000 stranded people even as the state government barred other states from undertaking unilateral rescue efforts.

Bad weather grounded most of the big military choppers from bringing people to safety. Small helicopters managed to evacuate only 138 from Badrinath, Pandukeshwar and Lambagar in Chamoli district.

Reports from Chamoli and Pauri districts said it was raining in the higher reaches hampering chopper operations. The state capital Dehradun was also drenched with rain.

Uttrakhand Flood Map from Google (Floodlist)

This crisis map is only an early version aimed at providing quick information about places affected, relief centers and road closures. As always, in times of such disaster, accurate information is hard to come by and our team has relied on scantily available information where available. We rely on all of you to contribute to better information and improve the accuracy over the coming days. In case you do have information to share, please write into uttarakhand-crisis@googlegroups.com

Uttrakhand Flood Pictures (FloodList)

We are trying to build as comprehensive collection of pics and images from the Uttarakhand floods and rescue as possible. We are adding to the collection all the time. Please see the full collection of photos on our Uttarakhand floods Pinterest board by FloodList.

Calgary floods: What you need to know now (CBC News)

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the flood evacuation order has been lifted for 65,000 Calgarians, while 10,000 people in several neighbourhoods still must stay away. Here are some key developments:

Parts of flooded Alberta assess the damage while others still fear flooding (Fox News)

To the west, in Calgary, vacated neighborhoods along the swollen Bow and Elbow Rivers were showing signs of life again as displaced residents started to trickle home. Some of the 75,000 flood evacuees from more than 24 neighborhoods were returning to properties spared by the flooding, but many are facing extensive repairs to homes and businesses…

The flooding forced authorities to evacuate Calgary’s entire downtown and hit some of the city’s iconic structures hard. The Saddledome, home to the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames, was flooded up to the 8th row of the lower bowl…

Water lapped at the roof of the chuckwagon barns at the grounds of the Calgary Stampede, which is scheduled to start in two weeks. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said the city will do everything it can to make sure that the world-renowned party goes ahead.

Medicine Hat river crested overnight, mayor says (CBC News)

Worried Medicine Hat, Alta., residents and officials awoke to some good news Monday after spending the weekend sandbagging to protect the city from floodwaters that devastated Calgary and other southern communities in the province.

The South Saskatchewan River peaked overnight at a speed of about 5,450 cubic metres per second, said Medicine Hat Mayor Norm Boucher, and is already starting to recede.

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Alberta floods: before and after photos (CBC News)

Powerful rains drenched regions of Alberta in June 2013, causing the worst flooding in decades. Swollen rivers bulged and overspilled onto city streets, forcing residents to evacuate their homes.

In the series of images below, move the slider to view shots of affected areas in High River and Calgary before and after the storm.

Estimated peak river flows (Alberta Government)

Bow river at Calgary

2013 estimated peak flow 1,740 cms[61,450 cfs]

2005 peak flow: 791 cms [27,930 cfs]

1932 peak flow: 1,520 cms [53,680 cfs]

image

Why Alberta’s floods hit so hard and fast (CBC News)

Most significant is a large amount of rainfall — up to 200 millimetres in some places. Add in ground that is already saturated because of some more modest precipitation — about 40 millimetres — preceding the deluge. Combine that with areas that were still frozen not far below the surface and a local geography that encourages water to run down hill quickly, and there’s a recipe for this week’s devastation.

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