The primary water level in the Bow River at Calgary grew by more than 125 per cent in just 24 hours this week, causing significant flooding throughout the region.
Near real-time data from hydrometric gauging stations operated by Environment Canada captured the rising water levels over the past several days. This point in the Bow River, which snakes through the Calgary's city centre, averaged 1.3 metres in depth since January 2011, never reaching higher than 2.3 metres — until Thursday. By 2 p.m. on June 20, water levels rose to 2.9 metres. They topped out at 4.13 metres by 1 a.m. the following morning.
The first chart below tracks the Bow River's growth. The first half of the chart is a typical water level for this point in the river — around 1.3 metres. The level begins to rise around 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 20.
The Elbow River, which feeds from Rockies to Southwest Calgary and into the Bow River, was flowing steadily at 1.7 metres the morning of July 19. It surged quickly over the next several hours, peaking at 4.9 metres by 1:15 p.m. on July 20.