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Preparing for and staying safe during heavy rainfall

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Prepare for an emergencyHeavy rainfall

Heavy rain can cause pooling, overflowing rivers and runoffs, and flooding. These events may result in evacuations, power outages, supply shortages, traffic obstructions and road closures, infrastructure damage and debris.

The risk of heavy rain is increasing. The most recent significant fall of rain happened in June of 2013 just before the flood. Our Disaster Risk Explorer has information about the risk of heavy rain in Calgary and what The City is doing to prepare for it.

How to prepare for heavy rainfall

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  • Ensure storm drains near your house are clear and free of debris.
  • Clear eave troughs and ensure they are pointed down and away from your home and foundation.
  • Make sure that you and your family are as prepared as possible in the event a flood occurs.

Staying safe during heavy rainfall

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  • Wear protective clothing and seek indoor shelter.
  • Stay away from windows and doors during heavy rain and strong winds.
  • Avoid roadway underpasses, drainage ditches, low lying areas and areas where water collects – they can unexpectedly flood or overflow.
  • Avoid driving in heavy rain due to poor visibility. If possible, park and wait until the rain has slowed or stopped to continue your journey.
  • Do not try to drive across a flooded road. Water may be deeper and stronger than it appears and may contain debris, sharp or dangerous objects, pot holes or electrical wires.
    • Vehicles can become unstable or even swept away if caught up in fast flowing or pooling flood waters. It only takes a few inches of water to displace a vehicle.
  • Stay away from power lines or electrical wires.
  • Monitor alerts and weather reports for flash flood warnings and updates.

Calgary gets to two types of summer heavy rains

  1. Large scale weather systems with long-term rainfall

    These large weather systems can last several days and result in significant flooding. Environment Canada issues Rainfall Warnings for this type of event.

  2. Short-lived thunderstorms with significant rainfall
    Within a short period of time, sometimes only minutes, localized downpours from thunderstorms can produce flash flooding. Environment Canada issues Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for these types of rainfall events.
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After a heavy rainfall