Mass Evacuations Expected in Calgary Flooding

CALGARY, Alberta – The mayor of the Canadian city of Calgary is warning that the worst of the flooding is yet to come.

A significant portion of his city spent the night pulling back to higher ground. And officials have estimated that as many as 100,000 may have to leave their homes.

Entire neighborhoods along two rivers that flow through Calgary have been cleared of residents. The mayor says he’s never seen the rivers rise so high or so quickly. He says the smaller Elbow river has reached its peak, but the same could not be said for the larger Bow river.

Police are urging people to stay away from downtown, and not go to work. All schools are closed.

The Calgary Zoo, located on an island, has closed its gates and is taking steps “to secure and move animals to safe locations.” Contingency plans called for the zoo’s big cats, such as lions and tigers, to be moved into prisoner cells at the Calgary courthouse. But the city says that hasn’t happened yet.

Calgary is a city of more than a million people that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Torrential rains and widespread flooding have isolated some mountain resort towns in southern Alberta, and also shut down the Trans-Canada Highway.

(Copyright 2013, Associated Press, All rights reserved.)

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