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Calgary left to clean up after freak flash flooding

Last Updated Jun 29, 2016 at 4:26 am MST

Mud and debris is some of the only visible reminders on Calgary streets after a large and powerful thunderstorm made its way through the city Tuesday night.

Several communities reported flash flooding in the deep south end of the city including Braeside, Woodlands, Woodbine, Canyon Meadows and Oakridge.

One of the hardest hit streets was 24th Street S.W. where drivers were caught off guard.

Gregory Wiebe was driving southbound when he noticed what was happening and tried to prevent other drivers from getting swamped.

“A whole bunch of people stopped and with everybody stopping I kind of looked around and saw the northbound lanes and realized too many cars are stopping, I have to stop traffic,” he said.

Wiebe only saw one SUV get flooded and one driver had to be rescued.

It took first responders a few hours before they were able to get the water to drain and they were able to reopen lanes.

In Woodlands first responders were kept busy by the deluge of water the flooded Woodview Drive.

There had been reports of a gas leak at one point, neighbours say it was actually gas from a leaking vehicle that had been washed into one home’s basement.

The home on the corner of Woodview Drive and Woodpark Way S.W. saw several feet of water.

Scott Campbell lives across the street, he says the house in question has a day home. He tried to house the children and the couple who live inside, he even had a little flooding in his own basement.

“They’re stressed, they’re antsy but they dealt with it well.”

“The whole street was under water, all the way up to the corner,” he said. “I helped push a lady out who was stuck in the water. The water was up past my knees.”

“You couldn’t get anywhere, we were trying to direct traffic down that way but it didn’t really help because you were just stuck there.”

Stephanie Wilcox is in town attending a hair-dresser college and thought she could make it down the street.

Wilcox says the rain was coming down so violently, she couldn’t even see in front of her little Saturn Ion.

“It was crazy, I was driving back from school and the rain was just coming down so heavy it was almost hailing,” she said. “You think you’re going to get through it and then the next thing you know, there’s just so much water and my car just stopped and it started flooding my car. It was like swimming in a lake.”

“There was so much water from the sky, it was pouring so you couldn’t see behind me and you couldn’t see in front of me. You keep going and then it just stopped.”

“It’s (her car) broken,” she laughed. “I’m not really sure what’s going to happen but I think it’s probably going to get wrote off. My cup holders were full (of water), I took the bottom of my trunk out where my battery was and it was just a pool of water, so water everywhere.”

Canyon Meadows was also hard hit, in particular Cantrell Drive S.W. where we found Tiffany cleaning out her swamped SUV.

“It was about 4 and we were driving home from a friend’s house,” she said. “We couldn’t get to our house due to the flooding on our street. The water was 3/4 of the way up our front lawn.”

“We have crap all over our yard, mud everywhere, my SUV is fully flooded and the drains our completely cut apart.”

She says this is the sixth time they’ve seen flooding and they’ve had to call the MLA to have the city come clean it.

If past experience is any indication, she says they’ll be cleaning up the mud for several days.

There were also reports manhole covers dislodged due to heavy water flow.

Within a two hour period, the Calgary Fire Department responded to over 60 emergency calls, most of which were a direct result of the storm.

With files from City photographer Derek Brade.