Stampede grounds flood mitigation worries upstream neighbours

Some people who live along the Elbow River are worried that mitigation measures being added downstream to protect Stampede Park could end up flooding their properties.

Residents along Elbow River fear berms at grounds will force water to back up

Mitigation work being done to prevent the Elbow River from flooding the Calgary Stampede grounds again has residents living upstream worried. (CBC)

Some people who live along the Elbow River are worried that mitigation measures being added downstream to protect Stampede Park could end up flooding their properties.

Carolyn Kelly, who lives on Riverdale Avenue a few kilometres southwest of the Stampede, says she and her neighbours want reassurances that work on the grounds won't mean more flooding in their backyards.

"They don't want to see it happen again. I would say they're quite anxious. But they feel powerless to stop it."

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says people shouldn't be anxious about the flood mitigation work, which includes flood walls being built around the racetrack.

"My understanding is that the work shows quite clearly there will not be backing up along the river,” he said.

"No single one party will be able to do something that badly impacts others, and we'll make sure that happens.”

About 100 residents, including Kelly, met with city and Stampede officials on Tuesday to discuss their concerns.

"We feel, many of us, that we're not being told the whole truth, that there's not enough transparency and that what is good for one group of people is not being applied to the private residents or another group of people," said resident Cindy Eeson.

Warren Connell, the VP of Stampede Park Development, says regulations do not allow any measures that add to water volumes up or downstream.

"And certainly the majority of this work is actually repairing the riverbank, the raprion zone, which is basically the habitat and also putting in pieces for the fish that have been all washed away as part of the flood," he said.

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