June 22, 2012

The Flood of 2012

The picnic area behind the Lake Louise Visitor Centre
We've had two days of nice weather in a row, so it's hard to believe that just two weeks ago, we were all experiencing the flood of 2012.  On June 5 & 6, we received about twice the entire monthly average rainfall for June, and the rivers just couldn't hold it all.

The bridge to "nowhere" on the Bow River Loop Trail near Lake Louise
Now that a couple of weeks have passed, and the photos taken on June 7 have made the rounds, we can take a look at what happened.  Most facilities have dried out and will be fine, but a few hiking bridges were damaged.  Some will require major repairs.

This was the third significant flood in the mountain parks in the last 30 years, the last being in 1986 and 2007.  This year has been a biggie, however.  Other rivers in western Canada are just reaching their maximum flood levels now.  The Fraser River, which rises west of Jasper National Park, is seeing its highest water since 1972.

All we can say is that the power of water is awe-inspiring.

The suspension bridge over the Vermilion River to the Paint Pots in Kootenay National Park