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Author Topic: ‘We were trapped’: Semi-trucks stranded on southern Alberta highway as floodwate  (Read 2568 times)

Wildrose-Wally

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Dave Bidini | 13/06/20


(THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Marriott - An RCMP cruiser blocks access to the Trans-Canada Highway in Canmore, Alta. on Thursday June 20, 2013. Calgary and most of southern Alberta are being hammered by rain that has washed-out roads and bridges, caused mudslides and closed major highways.)

Canmore, Alta. — Overnight, this beautiful mountain resort in Canmore has became a flooded swamp beseiged by torrential rain, mud and rock, the conditions exacerbated by melting snowtops and raging rivers.

The Cougar Creek, which runs through town, has spilled over its banks to swallow the adjacent subdivision, hydro poles falling like timber over the neighbourhood skating rink and close to homes that fill the region.

From my view at the Ramada Hotel on Bow Valley Trail, parking lots and businesses on the other side of the street have been consumed by water, and threaten to engulf the entire road: a busy thoroughfare and main artery across town.


(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Craig Douce, Rocky Mountain Outlook - Debris and water pours across the Trans-Canada Highway as Canmore struggles with flooding Thursday June 20 2013.)

I was awakened after dawn by the rumblings of hotel guests filing to the lobby, the power having been temporarily cut because of the rain. We gathered under the archway of the building, astonished by the breadth of the water, but, like any emergency situation, it was only moments before we heard stories from people who had suffered more dramatically: shuttled to the hotel overnight, including 22 long-haul truckers evacuated, by air, from the highway leading into town, their combined five million tonnes sinking into the bowed road of Highway 1A, the first time in history it has split apart.

Prince Albert’s Curtis Robert, his Western Star 2000 carrying a load of meat products, was the first to be stopped on his way to Canmore at around 11:30 p.m. last night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jGsqxTiANm8
Video by John E Marriott, professional wildlife and nature photographer

“I saw lights, and a few RCMP, and I thought it was an accident at first,” he said. “Pretty soon, the lineup behind me lengthened and I was boxed in as the rain started to fall harder, swamping the road ahead. I told the RCMP that the best thing to do would be to close the exit, back up all of us — there were only a few trucks at first — and route us to Calgary. But they wouldn’t listen. We were trapped there, with the nose of my truck at the edge of the road, which was getting swamped and eaten away by the rain.”

Mr. Robert believed that his vehicle was eventually consumed by the sinkhole in the road, whose underpinning was unable to resist the flood.

Melanie and Harry Petterson, who had been in contact with sympathetic dispatchers, expressed disbelief at the decision of the police.


(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Craig Douce, Rocky Mountain Outlook - Debris and water pours across the Trans-Canada Highway as Canmore struggles with flooding Thursday June 20, 2013.)

“If they’d reacted quickly, we could have figured out a way to save our trucks. But now, they could all be gone,” said Harry.

“Eventually,” Melanie told me, “they got us out by helicopter, but that was after nine hours sitting in our rigs. By that time, the road behind us had flooded, too, and it was too late to move one way or the other. One of the drivers told the RCMP that he wouldn’t leave his vehicle, and was arrested for his decision.”

Closer to the mountains that ring the city, homes have been flooded and buildings threatened by the mass of water roaring from the skies and the hillsides.


(THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Marriott - Semi trucks sit idle to the Trans-Canada Highway at Cougar Creek in Canmore, Alta. on Thursday June 20, 2013. Calgary and most of southern Alberta are being hammered by rain that has washed-out roads and bridges, caused mudslides and closed major highways.)

One friend spent most of her day helping people get to lower ground while watching a tractor try to divert the culvert, brooking the momentum of the water coursing into town.

Businesses have closed — many, in fact, seem abandoned; their lights on and chairs gathered around tables as if waiting for customers — and a few cars amble through city roads, their tires lost in the brown-grey water.

Residents agree that June is usually the wettest month here, but no one has ever seen flooding this bad.

All they do — all we do — is stare at the clouds wreathed about the mountains and wait for the skies to dry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xjqnfRcZkg&feature=player_embedded


(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Craig Douce, Rocky Mountain Outlook - Canmore homes along Cougar Creek barely hang on as the town struggles to deal with flooding Thursday June 20, 2013.)

« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 06:00:46 PM by Wally »

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tranquileman

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Thanks for posting this Wally. I was through there a day before this happened and am still amazed by the pictures and videos of this disaster. The ridiculous actions of the RCMP member are typical. They aren't trained to handle situations like these and with little practical experience to guide them, they simply err on the side of least liability... ::)  >:(

As it is, the load I was going to take next week has been cancelled. I still have a trip, just not going on that stretch of the Trans Canada anytime soon!

When these situations hit, it's easy to just focus on how they affect us individually, but there are 3 confirmed dead and over 100,000 people evacuated due to this.  I have been and will continue to pray for them, that the rain would stop, that no more lives would be taken, and that some good would somehow come out of this....
......If your going to be different, try not to be thin skinned.....

I hope they never find a cure for Eleutheromania

JJG

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It's incredible! That is a lot of water! Too bad bad decisions are made to add to a bad situation. It is good to see photos of this as I think a lot of line ups and stranded motorists could be avoided if the correct info be sent out. It is too often you hear the road is closed, someone call in and said it he made it through no problem! If it is closed, it should be closed, if not then don't say it is!!

Jim

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Hope every one all got out with not too much damage done. Read about the disaster to day Sunday with some one having to swim to safety with his cat after his S U V got swamped. Again hope every one is O K.   BOB.

charlie

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Frightening scenes. :o Appears to be bad choices on the part of the RCMP on the scene.

Mister TyZo

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Frightening scenes. :o Appears to be bad choices on the part of the RCMP on the scene.

 ;) ;)
Be Safe / Be Careful  BTB

Eric G

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Wow thats crazy!!! Glad there all ok

Eric

The Fugitive

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It was really sad to read that 3 persons lost their lives due to the bad weather in Alberta. Hope every one here are all safe and well and we are thinking of you all. My daughters partners family live in the Calgary area but has not heard any news from them.  BOB.     P S I was a day ahead of my self yesterday been out of the saddle for a week no watch or phone but back to real world tomorrow.


JJG

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Hard to believe really, what a sad mess!! It's amazing that only a few lives are lost! The power of Mother Nature is frightening!

Jim

Jim

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