Those hoping to enjoy warm weather rafting on the Bow and Elbow rivers this summer will have to keep waiting.

Officials say it will be weeks before Calgary's rivers open up for recreational use. The fire department still needs to assess the safety of the rivers and riverbanks — and what they find will determine when the rivers open.

"We know there's going to have to be stability work done on a number of the banks on the river, so the reality is we're a long distance right now from being able to say it's safe to be on the rivers or that it's safe really to be on the riverbanks," said Bruce Burrell, head of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA).

In some cases, fire crews will have to walk sections of the riverbanks to assess unsafe conditions or to remove a tangled mass of fallen trees and brush, Burrell said.

In addition to damage from raging waters, last month's flood also brought significant amounts of debris to Calgary's streets, which is clogging the wastewater system.

With the city stuck in a cycle of heavy rainfall, that debris could cause problems for homeowners.

Sunnyside concerns

A heavy downpour Monday had people in the northwest community of Sunnyside scrambling. There was no additional flooding, but they're still cleaning up — for a second time — after heavy rain on Friday caused a flash flood in the neighbourhood.

Many who escaped significant flood damage last month saw their property and possessions destroyed by the unexpected deluge — and more rain is in the forecast for the city.

But residents say the city is to blame for the latest damage, not Mother Nature. While some storm sewers were blocked by debris, which caused water to pool in the neighbourhood, the storm gates in the community were also not open.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city kept the gates closed because the Bow River was still flowing at the 2005 flood peak and officials wanted to prevent river backflow.

He said Monday at 11 a.m. MT that water levels are unchanged from Friday — but CBC crews report seeing the storm gates located near Seventh Street and Memorial Drive northwest open at 1 p.m. MT.

It's not clear why the city officials chose to open the gates, when they said it was too risky to open the gates Friday.

Some residents who suffered flash flood damage are demanding action over the decision, which they allege was one of the causes of the flooding.

"We want heads to roll," said Mike Bradfield. "We want someone reprimanded or fired over this."

But it takes about 40 minutes to open the gates near Sunnyside, which needs to be done manually by crews, and Friday's flash flood hit the community quickly.