Downtown West Community Association
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Bow River Ice Dam Issues

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

Ice jam on Bow River responsible for evacuation of downtown apartment building Jo Ann Lawrence | January 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

Pumps failed, creating unsafe levels of CO

An unusual chain of events that began with an ice jam on the Bow River is responsible for the evacuation of 400 people from a Calgary apartment Wednesday morning.

Because of the extreme cold in the city, an ice jam formed on the Bow River.  River water was then forced into the parkade of the apartment building, flooding pumps and in the process creating unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

The pumps were shut down and the Calgary Fire Department installed temporary non-fuel burning pumps.

Residents will be allowed back in the building when electric pumps are installed and heat is restored to the building. Elevators are not currently operational, according to the fire department.

Police says the situation was short-term and residents were not at risk.

A resident information update was held at the Kerby Centre (1133 – 7th Avenue SW) at 11 a.m. this morning.

Residents with vehicles on level P2 are permitted to access the building to retrieve their vehicles. Residents with vehicles on level P1 are not currently permitted to access the building to retrieve their vehicles, but access may be allowed shortly.

Residents requiring medication or those who have pets are being escorted by the Calgary Fire Department to their residences to retrieve medication and pets.

At this point it is unknown when residents will be allowed back into the building. The next resident update will be at 2 p.m.

Residents are advised to check in at the Information Centre at the Kerby Centre.

LETTER FROM SCOTT BARKER JANUARY 2012

Bow River ice jams and condo flooding – January 25, 2012

As you are probably aware, the Marquis and Discovery Pointe both suffered flooded parkades last week (Jan 17 2012). I believe that Continental Towers also suffered a flood in their parkade. This is the 6th time that Discovery Pointe has suffered such a flood (previous floods were on Jan 8 2004, Jan 1 2005, Dec 15 2007, Jan 6 2009, and Dec 14 2009). After our second flood, we were told by city officials that the cause of the excessive ground flow of water is an ice dam on the Bow River around 7th Street SW, and that the ice dam was a deliberate design by the City of Calgary, intended to prevent ice dams from building up around Centre Street Bridge and damaging the underside causeway on that bridge. From this most recent flood, we have photographic evidence of the ice dam, showing the river completely blocked with ice west of the approximate location of 7th Street at the river (right near the new bridge), and completely free of ice east of there. To date, these floods have cost Discovery Pointe in excess of $150,000, and Discovery Pointe would like to discuss with the Downtown West Community Association how best to proceed in getting the City to address this flooding issue, perhaps by designing an ice dam further upstream, before we consider possible legal action. Perhaps the Marquis and other affected buildings would also like to be part of the discussions.

LINK: LETTER FROM SCOTT BARKER TO ALDERMAN JOHN MAR

LINK: ANDRES FONSTAD 1982 STUDY

2009 VIDEO OF ICE ON THE BOW RIVER @ 10TH STREET BRIDGE

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