Posted by: Vicki Burns | June 29, 2010

Flash Floods on Prairies Wreak Havoc – The Medicine Hat Community Foundation Helping the Victims

Tornado warnings, severe thunderstorm watches and flash floods are all making the news across the Prairies these days. The weather and specifically, the excessive amounts of rain are on everyone’s minds.  

image of building in Medicine Hat surrunded by flood waters

Medicine Hat Flood , photo credit Gavin Young, Calgary Herald


 Medicine Hat and surrounding areas were hard hit by huge rainfall around the 3rd week of June which caused tremendous flash floods. Apparently this was a very unusual situation in that it was several creeks that overflowed and caused the almost instant flooding. The volume of rain that fell in such a short time was so much more than the earth could absorb. According to the Medicine Hat News, the flow rate of the Ross Creek shot up from an average of 5 to 8 cubic metres a second to 160 cubic metres per second. The flow rate of the South Saskatchewan River jumped from an average of 150 cubic metres per second up to 2300 cubic metres per second. Much of the flooding that occurred in Medicine Hat was in the middle of town, not close to the rivers but in the range of the creeks that were overwhelmed.  

Those numbers are astonishing to me and remind me of what scientists are warning in terms of more extreme weather events associated with changing climate patterns.  

The Medicine Hat Community Foundation has responded quickly to their community’s needs by announcing a fundraising effort to give timely assistance to victims of the flood.
They’ll be working closely with several organizations to provide help to people whose lives are in turmoil as a result of flood impacts. What a meaningful and concrete action for a community foundation to take in this crisis. I love their headline – “This is Our Community, These are Our People.” Lets hope they get a generous response.


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