June 23rd, 2024

A timeline of how it all happened

By Gillian Slade on June 22, 2018.


Flooding of the Elbow and Bow Rivers a few days ahead was a warning of what would hit Medicine Hat five years ago.

Thursday June 20, 2013

— South Saskatchewan River expected to flood by Saturday morning. Levels expected to be similar to 2005 and a flow of 3,800 cubic metres per second.

— Although no widespread evacuations were expected, the city opens an Emergency Operations Centre.

Friday June 21, 2013

— At 11 a.m. the city revises expected river flow to reach 6,000 cubic m/s by 6 p.m. Saturday.

— At 1 p.m. the city announces a local state of emergency.

— Sandbags and tiger dams strategically put in place to protect critical infrastructure.

— By 3:30 p.m. the city says its primary focus was protecting life. Objective was to protect water and power supplies with construction of a temporary berm.

— Evacuation announced for residents in the Flats, from Second Street to Spencer Street, Kingsway Avenue to Iron Avenue and homes along the river including Harris Street and First Street NE from Division Avenue to Parkview Close, affecting about 8,000 people.

— Warning issued that bridges might be closed, cutting off the north side of the city from the south.

— Alberta Health Services begins establishing a 10-bed field hospital at the Family Leisure Centre, with a laboratory and a mobile X-ray unit.

— Flood waters expected to be 1.5 metres higher than in 1995.

— Residents work late into the night sandbagging and trying to protect homes.

RELATED: Five years since 2013 flood

Saturday June 22, 2013

— By 9 p.m. the South Saskatchewan River exceeds its banks, flowing at 2,000 cubic metres per second.

Sunday June 23, 2013

— By 8:30 a.m., River Road is under water. River flowing at 3,800 cubic m/s.

— By 11 a.m. people are standing on Scholten Hill to observe the River Flats and Industrial Avenue under water.

— The army arrives to help with flood mitigation measures.

VIDEO: Aerial footage from June 23, near the peak of the flood

Monday June 24, 2013

— The river peaks at 1:15 a.m., flowing at 5,600 cubic m/s, staying at that level for five hours. “To put that into perspective, Niagara Falls flows at 1,650 cubic metres a second,” city emergency management head Ron Robinson told the News a year later.

— The recovery process begins with a street-by-street plan to return evacuated residents to their homes.

After the flood

— The Veiner Centre is damaged beyond repair. Five years later, the rebuilt and expanded seniors centre is expected to be officially opened soon, said Clugston.

— Of the homes severely damaged in the flood, 16 qualify for a buyout package arranged between the city and the Disaster Recovery Program. They would be demolished. With a financial settlement, the owners could buy or build elsewhere. Just one decides to rebuild at the same address.

In the end, about seven others are not given the same settlement arrangement but also had to demolish their homes.

— Flood mapping is done by the province and homes in a flood zone identified.

— The city embarks on building berms to address future flooding.

— The city approves a sanitary sewer isolation valve assistance program to address sewer backup issues in flooding.

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