Okotoks Alberta Spring Flooding

Spring thaw in Okotoks flooding!

The spring thaw can bring flooding to Okotoks Alberta, depending on the amount of rain and the rate of thaw, the Sheep River can overrun its banks. The right combination can and has caused flood damage to low lying businesses and dwellings that are near the Sheep River. But, don’t be fooled, you are not out of danger if you are not near the river and on higher ground. There are several homes in Okotoks that have experienced water damage due to heavy rainfall.

In the first picture, if you keep going straight ahead this is your regular pathway, but as you can see if you do so at the time of this picture you’re going to need some high boots to stay dry. Just up from where the path flooding starts you will see water coming in from the left; this is where the Sheep River is coming in to fill up the low lying areas.

The photos here are from the flooding that took place in the spring of 2011.

North side of Hunters Glen Okotoks

This area that you are seeing normally has no water at all, but as fast as the water can fill up, the water can also leave the area. It does look pretty but, it’s not so pretty if you have a home that lays this low. This area tends to be a favorite spot for deer to frequent, especially in the spring with their babies.

I've walked this area many times, it is directly to the southwest of the original Okotoks bridge that takes you over the Sheep River. This area is just on the north side of an Okotoks area called Hunters Glen.

In the second photograph here you see a wider shot of the Sheep River in Okotoks that has overrun its banks. If you look on the left side of this photo at the point where the leftmost large tree has an opening beneath its lowest branch and the underlying bush; this is approximately where the water line is a most times.

In the third picture; If the Sheep River was generally so large to cover this area there would be no need for the watering of properties rationing during the summer months. We have been in Okotoks for over five years now and the summer watering schedule has always been in place for Okotoks.

North side of the Sheep River in Okotoks spring flooding.

You can see how close this is getting to the office building in the background; this business is beside Denny’s in Okotoks Alberta.

If you follow the Sheep River down on the north side there are several other businesses and homes that fall in the danger zone when the Sheep River overruns its banks. In the past years some of the walking pathways have been washed away and the town of Okotoks has had to rebuild them.

Okotoks is not normally in the practice of putting signage and garbage cans in a rapidly flowing river, but sometimes this is the way things turn out with the spring thaw and rain combination. Though we go out there and take pictures of what happens when the river overruns its banks, don't kid yourself, there are many dangers involved when it comes to flooding.

When you are buying a house make sure you hire a good realtor who gives you all the facts. When we bought our home in Okotoks our agent informed us of any future developments planned for the area and also let us know of any houses that had experienced wet basements in the past.

Okotoks Lions Campground Park Area Flooding.

At the time of this picture the Lions Campground was closed due to flooding. I’m not sure if this was before the campground was opened for the season, but I do know that there have been times where the campground has been evacuated due to the Sheep River overrunning its banks in Okotoks. On the far right side of this photo is where the actual Lions campground sits.

If you look at the second picture in this section you will see there is a picnic table northeast of the green garbage can, do you have a hankering for a nice picnic? Perhaps if you stand on the bench or sit on top of the table you can pretend you are on an island of your own. Just put on some nice hip waders and make your way out.

Playground Picture: All that you see in this picture should be dry land, but not so when the Sheep River overruns its banks in Okotoks. In the top right of this picture you see the Lions campground entrance by the stop sign. I have attached a short video to give you an in the moment picture of it all. In the video you will see that the campground area tables and equipment have all been stacked on higher ground to prevent the possibility of equipment floating about or away.

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Comments Welcome 3 comments

SandyMcCollum profile image

SandyMcCollum 4 years ago

There's been more water damage in the world than ever before. It's amazing and awesome as it is awful.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

We wait for the warmth of Spring to come, but sometimes the rains arrive first. We had this ever spring in the midwest. The rains would push the rivers over the banks and into yards. Hopefully, it will subside and all will be saved.


Magdelene profile image

Magdelene 4 years ago from Okotoks Author

Thanks for the comments Sandy and Teaches. Spring is certainly a time we look forward to and we're even attracted to seeing the damage that it does when the rivers overrun their banks. Mother nature is in control of these events and most times there isn't much we can do but wait and hope that no serious damage is done.

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