Torrential flooding near Calgary could drive as many as 100,000 people from their homes as rising waters closed a portion of the Trans-Canadian Highway, isolating the mountain resort town of Canmore.
Flood waters in Canmore, about 50 miles west of Calgary, washed away homes, covered roads and swamped cars, forcing some motorists to swim for their lives, according to CTV News
. Two men in High River, Alberta, took to a fishing boat to rescue neighbors from rising water Thursday.
"We have people on their rooftops who were unable to evacuate fast enough," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Patricia Neely told The Associated Press. Authorities expected possibly four more inches of rain over the next two days.
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CTV News reported that emergency officials had already ordered mandatory evacuations for communities along the Elbow River near Calgary as crews braced for additional rain. Calgary officials ordered all schools closed on Friday, said CTV News.
Alberta administrators issued state of emergency order for 12 communities as of Thursday as flooding was expected to reach its highest levels by noon Friday, wrote The Associated Press
High water in some areas, like along the Bow River, was not expected to start receding until Saturday, Bruce Burrell, director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, told the AP in a news conference.
"Depending on the extent of flooding we experience overnight, there may be areas of the city where people are not going to be able to get into until the weekend," Burrell added.
In Canmore, officials used the city's website to order residents to steer clear of Cougar Creek and point them to Collegiate High School as an evacuation point. The site said the town remained under a state of local emergency.
"Banks at Cougar Creek are unstable," said the website, adding that natural gas will be out in several areas during the flooding. "Please stay away from Cougar Creek and all water bodies."
Canmore spokesperson Sally Caudill reported to CTV News that several said a number of motorists had to be rescued by helicopter overnight due to the floodwaters.
"We had about 20 or so people on the highway, who got stuck," Caudill reported to CTV News. "Water covered the highway in two places, so we used a helicopter to get those folks out.”
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