A Canmore flood forced emergency evacuations as rain left portions of the Canadian town underwater and wiped out roadways.
The town, which is about an hour west of Calgary, has been declared a state of emergency as power is out in locations around the city. Rain forced Cougar Creek to overflow, leading police to evacuate people who lived along the creek and prepare to evacuate others as well.
Residents who lived near the creek said the change has been drastic. It once flowed at a trickle, just a little more than two inches deep and about 10 feet wide, but quickly swelled to 400 feet across and 16 feet deep.
The Canmore flood reached levels so high that some motorists had to be rescued by helicopter.
“We had about 20 or so people on the highway … who got stuck … (when) water covered the highway in two places, so we used a helicopter to get those folks out,” said town spokesperson Sally Caudill.
Authorities also closed the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 1A to eastbound and westbound traffic at Cougar Creek.
“We do not advise travel this way,” said Canmore RCMP Const. Jeff Jantz. “Don’t come.”
The flood also caused a mudslide that shut down traffic on a highway close to 20 miles east of the town.
Heavy rains have caused problems across a wide portion of Western Canada. In Calgary on Thursday, officials said up to 100,000 residents could be forced to evacuate their homes.
In Canmore, the flood is not expected to subside anytime soon.
“The situation is actually bad and getting worse,” said Canmore Mayor John Borrowm. “Now some of the smaller creeks are starting to flood.”
There are other dangers brought on by the Canmore flood. Some residents have reported sewage backing up into their basements, and authorities are worried that a pedestrian bridge over the creek may collapse.