Impact 2017-11-08T11:05:35+00:00

It could have been worse

Our losses were dramatic, but we might not be so lucky next time.

Saved by dry skies

We came close to losing the entire downtown in 2013. If the rain had continued to fall for even a few more hours, the Elbow River floodwater could have been two metres higher.

Floodwater only 8 feet higher would have put the

entire downtown core


Every parkade, elevator, and every store front business. And that nearly happened.


In 2013 we lost houses, critical infrastructure like LRT tracks, and sustained enormous damage to public places like the Zoo, the Saddledome and the Stampede grounds.

If it had rained a little longer, downtown could have been devastated. It would have been months, or years, before business could proceed. In that scenario, Calgary would lose – forever. It would be no longer a place to invest, a city ripe for head offices, or a city to live in.

We all feel the impact

It’s more than the cleanup. We’re all paying the price in lost business and taxes.

A flood damage assessment for the City of Calgary found there is $2 billion at risk should a 2013-level flood event take place again.

By the numbers

5 Lives Lost

2ND Largest

natural disaster in Canadian history, after the Fort McMurray fires.

$6 Billion +

Cost of recovery in southern Alberta

$445 Million

in damage to public infrastructure in Calgary

5.1 Million

Lost work hours, Calgary

$2 billion

Reduction in Canadian GDP


percentage of large business affected


of small business affected


200 Bridges

damaged or destroyed

50 Bus Routes

cancelled or detoured

16 lrt


30 Parks


30 highways &


3 Schools

damaged extensively

59 days

before City Hall was running – and restoration work continues to this day.

The current average annual cost of flooding in Calgary without mitigation:

$168 million