Calgary

Severe thunderstorm floods roads in Calgary

Calgary police say they have received multiple reports of flash flooding after a severe thunderstorm hit the city Friday evening.

Multiple reports of flash flooding across city, police say

Roads were flooded in southwest Calgary as a severe thunderstorm rolled into the city on Friday. (Submitted by Bryn Welter)

A severe thunderstorm brought flash flooding and heavy hail to Calgary on Friday evening.

Multiple prominent roadways, including 17th Avenue S.W., saw vehicles attempting to traverse pooling water.

Calgary police said they had received multiple reports of flash flooding and hazardous driving conditions across the city, advising motorists to avoid driving and exercise "extreme caution" if travel is necessary.

Environment Canada issued severe thunderstorm warnings across southern Alberta on Friday, but the warnings were cancelled in Calgary by 8:18 p.m. MT.

WATCH | Flash flooding in Calgary:

Flash flooding fills southwest Calgary roads

3 months ago
0:15
Multiple roads, including 17th Avenue S.W., saw flash flooding on Friday night as severe thunderstorm hit Calgary. 0:15

The weather agency warned that such storms are capable of causing water pooling on roads and of producing toonie- to ping-pong ball-sized hail, heavy rain and strong wind gusts.

Large hail can also cause property damage, the weather agency said, also warning that such storms can produce tornadoes.

At 8:40 p.m., warnings remain in place for these communities:

  • Brooks.
  • Claresholm.
  • Drumheller.
  • Okotoks.
  • Red Deer.
  • Strathmore.
  • Stettler.
  • Three Hills.
  • Vulcan.

The extent of the damage from Friday's hail and flooding is likely to be unclear for some time. But Calgary is no stranger to summer storms.

In July 2020, a massive hailstorm hit Calgary and cost at least $1.2 billion in insured damages. That made it the fourth costliest natural disaster in Canada's history, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Calgary is a hot spot for severe weather. Its location — settled between high-elevation winds from the mountains, cold winds from the north and humidity from the south — is the perfect combination.

"If you had to pick a place in the country that's going to have this kind of weather, it's Calgary," Shawn Marshall, a climatology expert from the University of Calgary, told CBC News last year.

Hail hit the Calgary communities of Bridlewood and Somerset hard, with multiple homes and cars damaged. (Sarah Rieger/CBC)

With files from Elise von Scheel

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