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Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Train as a Different Sort of Hero!

98 years ago the North Saskatchewan River rose to 12 meters above the banks of its normal level. It began in June of 1915 and peaked on June 29th. On this day the river’s flow increased to 4,640 cubic meters per second (average is about 250 cubic meters per second). This flood is considered by many to be the worst flood of the river in the 20th century. The flood of July, 1986 came in at second place. The flow of the river that year was at 3,990 cubic meters per second. I was attending the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and the flood made news all the over there. I can only imagine what happened in 1915.

The people living in the communities of Cloverdale, Riverdale, Rossdale and Walterdale all had their streets turned into flowing tributaries of the river and eventually into a flood plain.

The bridge that brought the first train into Edmonton, the Low Level Bridge, was being threatened by the strength of the river surge and by the weight of the debris (including houses) in the river. To help stabilize the bridge the Canadian Northern Railway parked a loaded coal train on top of the bridge.

This post card is a reprint of a picture that was taken during that flood. It is from the publisher: The City of Edmonton

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