Calgary study on city flood response expected by next June

The City of Calgary is paying $50,000 for an independent study to be completed on its response to flooding last June.

'We learn from each one of these events'

The city estimates flood repair costs to top $500 million. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

An independent study will be done on the city's response to last June's floods.

The Conference Board of Canada has been awarded a $50,000 contract to look at what the city did and what it could do better the next time it faces a large-scale disaster.

Last June's flood was the biggest disaster in Calgary's recent history.

Roughly 80,000 people were forced from their homes in a matter of hours while large areas went underwater, including much of the downtown and the Stampede grounds. Besides the personal property losses, the city's damages are estimated to cost more than $500 million.

The thought that it might happen again or there could be another type of major emergency has the city looking for an outside review of how it performed.

Bruce Burrell, the head of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, says a similar study was done after the much-smaller 2005 flood — and it helped last June.

"We learn from each one of these events. We get the recommendations. We build the plans. We move forward, become better, stronger for the next event that occurs in the city." 

The Conference Board's report is expected to be done by next June.

With files from CBC's Scott Dippel

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