Calgary storm downs trees, power lines and prompts power outages

Calgary was hit with another deluge of rain on Tuesday, along with strong wind gusts that toppled trees and downed power lines.  

The wind and rain come one day after the City of Calgary declared a state of local emergency, and announced several precautionary steps that would be taken to prepare for the possibility of flooding, including the lowering of the Glenmore Reservoir and the creation of a berm on Memorial Drive.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued both a wind warning and a rainfall warning for Calgary on Tuesday, advising strong wind gusts up to 90 km/h were expected.

The national weather agency said the wind would diminish in the evening, but could cause damage to buildings, toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break.

The warning turned out to be a valid one, and emergency crews were kept busy responding to reports of trees tumbling in the winds.

“The wind has resulted in some fallen trees and some power outages across the city,” said Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Sue Henry on Tuesday. 

“If the tree is on city property or blocking a roadway you can report through 311. Please take a picture of the downed tree and report through the 311 app.”

In the community of Hillhurst, a group of Good Samaritans jumped to action after a tree fell onto an occupied vehicle.

“We saw a car come in and park and minutes later a whole tree came and fell on top of her car,” said Marcela Ezeta, the owner of Tu Taco on Kensington Road N.W.

“It was really shocking. We ran out to see if she was OK.”

A downed tree is seen in front of Tu Taco on Kensington Road N.W. on June 14, 2022 after strong wind gusts.

Ezeta said they were able to remove some of the branches from the tree, which had split in two, and get the woman out of the vehicle safely.

“She came out of the car in shock and we called the firefighters. We were so happy to see that nothing serious happened.”

Calgary storm downs trees, power lines and prompts power outagesA downed tree is seen in front of Tu Taco on Kensington Road N.W. on June 14, 2022 after strong wind gusts.

In the University District in northwest Calgary, police closed down several roads surrounding a 15-storey hotel under construction on University Avenue N.W. after siding started falling from the structure.

Calgary storm downs trees, power lines and prompts power outagesEmergency crews respond to the ALT Hotel under construction on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 after siding started falling from the structure. In the Beltline, the Calgary Public Library tweeted that due to fallen tree branches, the accessible rear entrance at Memorial Park Library was unavailable until further notice.

The Calgary Fire Department’s public information officer Carol Henke says between 10:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. they received 71 calls for weather-related incidents like downed trees and construction material blown from buildings, 57 calls for electrical hazards and five lightning-related calls.

By 4 p.m. on Tuesday the wind warning had ended. 

POWER OUTAGES

ENMAX workers were called to outages reported Tuesday in dozens of north Calgary communities impacting thousands of customers.

In a statement emailed to CTV News, ENMAX spokesperson Chinta Puxley says the company brought in extra crews to work on restoring power to customers.

“ENMAX’s system is resilient and we continue to monitor and respond to the weather conditions as we do around the clock,” she said.

The number of affected customers is constantly changing, but as of 3:30 p.m., there were approximately 4,850 customers without power.

To see the most recent list of ENMAX outages or to report an outage you can visit the ENMAX website

You can also find updates on the company’s Twitter account

The outages also impacted traffic lights in some areas of the city. 

RAINFALL WARNING IN CALGARY

The rainfall warning issued for Calgary by Environment and Climate Change Canada warned a prolonged period of heavy rain would continue Tuesday with rainfall totals will be between 75 and 125 mm by Wednesday morning.

The warning said rainfall will taper off through the day Wednesday, and could cause water to pool on roads or flash flooding.

Bowness Park, St. Patrick’s Island and Prince’s Island Park were closed as of 4 p.m. Tuesday as a precautionary measure in an effort to protect Calgarians from the potential of flooding.

Henry says no evacuation orders are in place in Calgary and it’s not believed any will need to be issued in the coming days.

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