A busted pipe in Canmore's town hall flooded the building's main floor before leaking outside, quickly creating a frozen river of ice in the mountain town’s downtown streets early Friday morning.
The break originated at the civic centre at about 3 a.m. MT, flooding the building and gushing water for several hours before officials were able to shut the water off.
"It was like there was a river coming across Fifth Avenue towards 10th Street. I guess it was the same on Seventh Avenue towards 10th Street,” said Dave Clark with Volker Stevin Contracting Ltd., which does road maintenance in the area.
Canmore Fire and Rescue assistant chief J.T. Gill said crews responded after a call from a resident who noticed water coming out of the civic centre.
“There was probably about two feet of water inside the building, seeping out the doors,” he said.
“We tried to shut off the water supply to the building, which we did, which didn’t stop the water flowing in so then we had to get Epcor out here to shut off the supply from the street side.”
Gill said the entire main floor of the civic centre suffered water damage.
Alberta Winter Games offices also damaged
The nearby offices of the 2014 Alberta Winter Games — taking place in Canmore and Banff beginning Feb. 6 — were also damaged.
"It looks like right now, most everything could be salvaged," said games manager Lisa Vinderskov. "I think it's just going to be a dirty clean up and a long weekend."
The office will be closed for a few days, but the games — with 2,600 hundred athletes, coaches and officials — will go ahead as scheduled.
Road crews have been dumping sand on downtown Canmore streets to coat the sheer ice.
The three-week long Canmore Winter Carnival also kicks off today, with ski and dog sled races on Main Street and snow sculpting and ice carving.