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Alberta floods displace thousands, cause energy issues

June 24, 2013

On June 20, the Bow and Elbow rivers, which run through Calgary, Alberta, overflowed their banks and displaced over 100,000 residents, according to the BBC. Three people have been reported dead as a result of the natural disaster. Those who are safe but displaced may be contacting their relatives in other countries using an international calling card.

The news source reported that Alberta experienced an extremely rainy week leading up to the floods, with 4 inches falling on the day the rivers burst their banks. More than 350 soldiers were sent to the area to assist with recovery efforts. Over the weekend following the 20th, the floodwaters began to recede, but significant damage had already been done. 

According to The Guardian, the primary issues being dealt with now, beyond the rebuilding of destroyed homes and businesses that has only just begun, are the power failures and energy crises that have arisen in the flood's wake. The rains are believed to have damaged an oil pipeline in northern Alberta, causing the spillage of 750 barrels of oil. Additionally, the oil industry in Calgary will be further affected because electricity has yet to be fully restored to the city's downtown area, where many firms in that sector are located. John Mar, a Calgary alderman, spoke about the challenges that would be coming.

"This is an evolving situation and because of the volatility of electricity and water and the infrastructure that was damaged we have got a lot of issues with restoring power to different parts of the city of Calgary," Mar said, according to the news source. "We are facing an absolutely gargantuan task."

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