Calgary

Ground flooding in Exshaw has residents questioning role of recent mitigation project

Some residents of the hamlet of Exshaw west of Calgary are wondering if a recent flood mitigation project is causing ground flooding in their basements and yards.

'This is certainly abnormal,' says community member

Water is pooling in some parts of Exshaw, west of Calgary. Provincial officials are investigating the cause. (Maarten van Haeren)

Some residents of the hamlet of Exshaw are wondering if a recent flood mitigation project is causing ground flooding in their basements and yards.

Pools of water are forming on lawns and in basements on the east side of the mountain community east of Canmore, forcing residents to use pumps to keep their basements from flooding.

Maarten van Haeren has lived in the area for about five years, but he says he's pumping water for the first time. 

"We do live in a low lying area with several creeks around, but this is certainly abnormal," he said.

Some Albertans are raising concerns about unusual flooding in their community. (Submitted by Maarten van Haeren) 0:33

Van Haeren and his neighbours want to know if the problem is connected to a recent flood mitigation project on Exshaw Creek.

They're wondering if the project has somehow stopped the water from draining into the river.

Dene Cooper, reeve of the Municipal District of Bighorn, says the engineers that worked on the project are looking into the concerns and were expected to get back to him on Tuesday.

The province says snowmelt and recent thunderstorms have increased flows on the Bow River to above the normal range for this time of year.

"We understand that flooding is very stressful event for people," a spokesperson for Alberta Environment and Parks said in an emailed statement.

"We have connected with the municipality and it was noted that these are low lying areas where high groundwater levels are common at this time of year. As you may know, there is currently a high streamflow advisory in place for this section of the Bow River and these higher flows would likely have an impact on groundwater levels in the area."

The spokesperson said the municipal district is collecting data to see if there were any other contributing factors to the flooding.

With files from Andrew Brown

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