It will likely be in the middle of next week before people can go back to work in downtown Calgary due to the extent of power outages, Mayer Naheed Nenshi said Friday evening on Twitter as southern Albertans grapple with the most severe floods in decades.
Over 20 communities in southern Alberta have been issued mandatory evacuation orders as water levels in major river systems in the region experienced massive water level increases. Three people have reportedly lost their lives in the floods.
Mayor Nenshi asked Calgarians to prepare for potential power outages, while assuring the public that tap water remains safe, and that there is no need to stock up on bottled water.
“Know that we’ll get through this together. The spirit of Calgary has never burned more brightly,” Nenshi said on Twitter.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the affected areas in Alberta on Friday afternoon along with Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Mayor Nenshi.
“The people of Central and Southern Alberta are showing tremendous strength, courage and resolve in their reaction to the devastating floods in the Alberta regions,” Harper said in a statement.
“Laureen and I would also like to offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims who have lost their lives in these floods, and also our hope for a quick recovery for anyone who is injured.”
Rescue forces in Alberta are receiving help from the Canadian Armed Forces with around 1,300 troops, a military airplane, helicopters, trucks, and other vehicles.
Calgary resident Pooya Mehregan, a University of Calgary graduate student, says that the floods affect people’s spirit.
“I’m constantly worried about what’s going to happen next,” Mehregan said in a telephone interview.
Provincial government forecasts predict another 20mm of precipitation by Saturday in the region.