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Water from melting snow on sidewalks, streets and roads is drawn into catch basins or storm drains and eventually flows into the rivers.

CALGARY -- After Calgary's first major snowfall of the season, the city says it’s important to prevent any kind of residential flooding in the coming days as temperatures climb.

According to the city these simple tips can help protect homes, family and potentially prevent flooding or water damage.  

  • Shovel snow away from the foundation of homes to prevent seepage into basements.  Don’t forget window wells.
  • Ensure downspouts (eavestroughs) are clear and free of debris – Point or direct them away from your home/foundation.
  • Home owners can help by ensuring the storm drain (also known as catchbasin), is clear of ice and debris.  Create a channel if need be to facilitate water flow.  If you find that the storm drain is iced over do not try to remove the ice.  Call 311 and a crew will clear the ice.  Don’t chip away at ice on storm drains because it could lead to damaging it or injury.
  • If water pools near the storm drain give it 90 minutes to drain.  In newer communities the city has installed special devices (inlet control devices)  in the storm drains that regulates the water (drain slowly) flow so as not to overload the stormwater system.   Monitor the water level for at least 90-120 minutes (depending on snow or rain accumulation) prior to calling 311.
  • If you see pooled water on a roadway, be extra cautious and don’t drive through deep water as motorists can’t see potential risks or conditions that might be unsafe.

Storm drains are a critical piece to Calgary’s storm water management system and the city’s storm drain system enters into the Bow and Elbow Rivers without going through a treatment plant so the city needs to ensure the water draining into it is as clean and free of debris as possible.

Residents should call 311 to report flooding or frozen storm drains if water pooling persists beyond an hour or it begins to ice up.  Calgarians can file a report online at Calgary.ca and are asked to include a photo, which will help crews prioritize the work.

The City of Calgary monitors 60,000 storm drains throughout the city and Calgarians are being asked for their patience as water crews respond to calls.  Public safety and property damage (i.e. water entering houses/businesses or garages) are considered foremost priorities.

For more on the city's snow and ice clearing processes, visit the website.