Calgary, Alberta, Canada flooding claims lives, mountain rains cover cities in brown floodwater
Mariano Castillo, CNN
8:40 AM, Jun 22, 2013
8:43 AM, Jun 22, 2013
(CNN) -- Flooding in southern Alberta, Canada, has claimed two lives, and as daylight emerged Saturday, officials turned their attention to a possible third victim.
Torrential mountain rains have engorged rivers and covered downtown Calgary and other Alberta cities in brown floodwater.
Authorities on Friday confirmed two victims who were caught up in the Highwood River in the town of High River, about 40 miles south of Calgary.
"There have been reports of what is believed to be a third person in the river, and that individual is believed to be deceased," Staff Sgt. Brian Jones of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told CNN.
Unfortunately, he said, the condition of the river made it unsafe to launch a recovery effort. Authorities would re-evaluate and develop a plan to approach the body, he said.
High River is one of several communities where residents have been evacuated because of the flooding. Red Deer, 90 miles north of Calgary, and Lethbridge, about 130 miles south of the city, also have evacuations in place.
About 10,000 people in Medicine Hat, in southeastern Alberta, were being evacuated Friday ahead of the expected cresting of the South Saskatchewan River on Saturday, city spokeswoman Brandy Calvert said. That's about one-sixth of the city's 62,000 residents, she said.
Officials expect Saturday's flood to surpass the one they had in 1995, which was the biggest on record, Calvert said.
In Calgary, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the Bow and Elbow rivers were carrying as much three times as much water through Calgary as they did during the city's monstrous 2005 flood, which obliterated roads, chased residents from their homes and drowned livestock on the way to causing more than $400 million in damages.
"The Bow River looks like an ocean at the moment," he said.
CNN's Melissa Gray and Michael Pearson contributed to this report.