Calgary, Alberta – The Calgary Fire Department, Calgary Police Service and Calgary Community Standards are advising Calgarians against boating and all other watercraft activities on the Bow River.
“The current flow rate on the Bow River is 293 m3/s — which is higher than we’ve seen in the last two years,” says Carol Henke, Public Information Officer, Calgary Fire Department. “Runoff from melting snow in the mountains is causing very cold water temperatures, increased floating debris and high turbidity in the Bow River, which makes for very poor visibility and dangerous conditions.”
Members of Calgary Fire and Calgary Police marine units will be monitoring the river while the advisory is in place. However, The City advises everyone to stay off the Bow River until conditions improve.
“For the safety of river users and emergency responders, we are asking everyone to wait until flows return to normal,” Henke says.
It is also important for people near the river to be aware of high flow levels. “Calgarians are urged to exercise caution around river banks as the fast-moving water can cause erosion and river banks can collapse,” Henke adds.
Harvie Passage remains closed to recreational boat traffic until 2018. The province of Alberta continues to restore the passage and during this time this section of the river poses extreme risk.
As always, Calgarians are reminded to use caution and be prepared for anything on the water. All watercraft users should wear lifejackets to avoid a mandatory court appearance and fines. In addition to wearing life jackets, river users should avoid consuming alcohol and other intoxicants on Calgary’s waterways.
The City of Calgary encourages all water users to familiarize themselves with safety practice bylaws and safety alerts on calgary.ca/watersafety and monitor flow levels at rivers.alberta.ca.
Finally, there are no current advisories on flood activity related to The City of Calgary. However, flooding can occur at any time, and the period between May 15 and July 15 is when The City is most likely to experience flooding. Calgarians can check calgary.ca/floodinfo to understand their flood risk, and find more information on how to be prepared for flood season.
City of Calgary