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Scenes From Alberta: “Couches Going By,” A Rescued Baby Deer, And High Flood Waters
June 21, 2013
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Downtown High River, Alberta on June 20, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Devastating flash floods in southern Alberta have washed out roads and bridges and forced thousands of people from their homes.

It's some of the worst flooding the province has seen in decades - roughly 100,000 people are being evacuated in Calgary alone - and mayor Naheed Nenshi says he is shocked at how high the waters have become.

"I grew up here, I spent a lot of time on the Bow and Elbow rivers, and I have never seen the river that high and that fast, he told CBC News.

He is also urging residents under evacuation orders to "gather your valuables and go."

"If you live in any of the neighbourhoods that have now been affected by the mandatory evacuation it is in time to leave," he said.

For a look at some of the conditions on the ground, check out this video compilation from BizBoxTV:

At least one person is missing, and several communities are under states of emergency, with evacuation orders covering parts of at least 25 neighbourhoods in Calgary alone.

If you can't reach family members who live in evacuated areas, the City of Calgary says you can contact the Red Cross in Calgary by phone at: 403-541-6100.

People with general or donation inquiries are asked to contact the Red Cross at: WeCare@redcross.ca or 1-800-418-1111.

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Houses that have been evacuated are marked with an "X", like this one in Calgary (Photo: Reuters)

For live updates on what's happening in Calgary and the rest of southern Alberta, check out the CBC News live blog.

There were reports that the Calgary Zoo had to move its big cats - lions, tigers, snow leopards and cougars - to the city's courthouse for their safety, but the police have said on Twitter that the cats were not moved.

Wade Graham, a resident of Canmore, told CBC about the surreal scenes he's witnessed since he was woken up at 3 am on Thursday to a rumbling sound: Cougar Creek had risen over its banks.

"At first it was just intense, pretty powerful, amazing thing to watch. As daylight came, it just got bigger and bigger and wider and wider, and it's still getting bigger and bigger and wider and wider," he said.

"All you can hear is like boulders and trees. I watched a refrigerator go by, I watched a shed go by, I watched couches go by. It's insane."

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A police car patrols the Sunnyside neighbourhood in Calgary, June 20, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

One amazing moment that got Tweeted: a fawn got trapped in Bow river by the flooding, and a man managed to pull it from the water.

According to this Kijiji posting, a couple took the fawn to a vet, where it was given care. They never got the man's name, but they thanked him and said "you are surely one of god's angels."

Another animal rescue story concerns Kevan Yaets and his cat Momo. When Yaets's truck got trapped in flood waters, he had to escape out the back window, and then he and Momo swam to safety.

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Yaets and Momo climbing out of the truck (Photo: AP)

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Rescue workers helping the pair to safety (Photo: AP)

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Rain pours down on Calgary on June 20, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

People are sharing images of the flooding on Twitter, and they are pretty unbelievable: a motor boat driving down the street in the Roxboro neighbourhood of Calgary, construction vehicles ferrying people through deep water, and much of the town of High River underwater.

More rain is in the forecast today, with an additional 15-30 mm possible, but the Bow and Elbow rivers are believed to have crested in the Calgary area by about 6 am MT.

"That is not to say there won't be some secondary surges," said the CBC's Meghan Grant. A lot of that will depend on the weather.

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Mike and Debra Bradfield evacuate their home in Calgary's Sunnyside neighbourhood, June 20, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

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