CALGARY - Calgary Stampede organizers say some signature events this year have been cancelled because flood repairs to the Saddledome cannot be completed in time.

Stampede spokesman Kurt Kadatz says the Calgary Flames have informed Stampede officials that the building won't be ready for the first five days of this year's festival.

Kadatz says the hockey organization is busy making repairs to the building so it will be ready for the Stampede concert series, which will be held during the second half of the Stampede.

He says the penning competition, which sees teams of riders separate three cattle from a herd, will be moved to the nearby community of Okotoks.

But other events like the horse cutting and the vintage tractor pull will be cancelled entirely.

Story continues after slideshow

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  • The inside of the Calgary Saddledome is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the NHL's Calgary Flames hockey club. The Calgary Flames say everything below the eighth row in the Saddledome is ruined by flooding. Team president Ken King says it's a total loss - dressing rooms, players' equipment, seats, boards and scoreboard electronics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Flames

  • The inside of the Calgary Saddledome is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the NHL's Calgary Flames hockey club. The Calgary Flames say everything below the eighth row in the Saddledome is ruined by flooding. Team president Ken King says it's a total loss - dressing rooms, players' equipment, seats, boards and scoreboard electronics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Flames

  • The inside of the Calgary Saddledome is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the NHL's Calgary Flames hockey club. The Calgary Flames say everything below the eighth row in the Saddledome is ruined by flooding. Team president Ken King says it's a total loss - dressing rooms, players' equipment, seats, boards and scoreboard electronics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Flames

  • The inside of the Calgary Saddledome is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the NHL's Calgary Flames hockey club. The Calgary Flames say everything below the eighth row in the Saddledome is ruined by flooding. Team president Ken King says it's a total loss - dressing rooms, players' equipment, seats, boards and scoreboard electronics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Flames

  • The inside of the Calgary Saddledome is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the NHL's Calgary Flames hockey club. The Calgary Flames say everything below the eighth row in the Saddledome is ruined by flooding. Team president Ken King says it's a total loss - dressing rooms, players' equipment, seats, boards and scoreboard electronics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Flames

  • The inside of the Calgary Saddledome is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the NHL's Calgary Flames hockey club. The Calgary Flames say everything below the eighth row in the Saddledome is ruined by flooding. Team president Ken King says it's a total loss ??? dressing rooms, players' equipment, seats, boards and scoreboard electronics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Flames

  • The inside of the Calgary Saddledome is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the NHL's Calgary Flames hockey club. The Calgary Flames say everything below the eighth row in the Saddledome is ruined by flooding. Team president Ken King says it's a total loss - dressing rooms, players' equipment, seats, boards and scoreboard electronics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Flames

  • The flooded Saddledome stadium is seen from a aerial view in Calgary, Alta. Saturday, June 22, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

  • A flooded Calgary Stampede stadium and Saddledome is seen from a aerial view in Calgary, Ab. Saturday, June 22, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

  • A flooded Calgary Saddledome is seen from a aerial view in Calgary, Saturday, June 22, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

  • Aerial photos of Canmore and Calgary flooding:

  • A washed out foot bridge lies on the creek bed in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Flood waters surround the hospital in Canmore, Alta. on Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Flood waters surround buildings in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Cougar Creek runs through the Trans Canada Highway during heavy floods in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Cougar Creek runs through the Trans Canada Highway during heavy floods in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Road damaged is shown looking west along the Trans-Canada Highway in Canmore, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013.

  • Heavy equipment operators work to keep up with debris, as Cougar Creek pours over the Trans-Canada Highway near Canmore, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013.

  • Cougar Creek runs through the Trans Canada Highway during heavy floods in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Cougar Creek runs through the Trans Canada Highway during heavy floods in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Cars and trucks sit on the road looking east along the Trans-Canada Highway from Canmore, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013.

  • The Calgary Stampede grounds are immersed in water during heavy flooding in Calgary, Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • The Calgary Stampede grounds are immersed in water during heavy flooding in Calgary, Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • The Calgary Stampede grounds are immersed in water during heavy flooding in Calgary, Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

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    A flooded Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded Calgary is seen from above, June 22, 2013.

  • The Calgary Stampede grounds are immersed in water during heavy flooding in Calgary, Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • In this aerial photo, the flooded Cougar Creek runs through Canmore, Alberta, on Friday June 21, 2013. Communities throughout southern Alberta are dealing with overflowing rivers that have washed out roads and bridges, inundated homes and turned streets into dirt-brown tributaries. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • A man rides his bike as another picks his up in the flooded streets of Calgary, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013. Alberta's largest city was swamped Friday by floodwaters that submerged much of the lower bowl of the Saddledome hockey arena, displaced tens of thousands of people and forced the evacuation of the downtown core. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • PM tours floods in Alberta

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, walks to a waiting helicopter with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, right, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, for an aerial tour of flooding in Calgary, Alta.

  • A wall is reserved for messages and missing people at the arena in Blackie, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013 after the Highwood River, overflowed its banks Thursday. The Red Cross is using the arena to house evacuees of the High River flood. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

  • Displaced residents sleep on cots at the arena in Blackie, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013 after the Highwood River, overflowed its banks Thursday. The Red Cross is using the arena to house evacuees of the High River flood. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

  • Water rushes through what is left of Lions Park as the Sheep River flows through Okotoks, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013 after the river overflowed its banks Thursday. The town remains on a flood watch. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

  • A home in the community of Bowness is flooded as up to 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday, June 21, 2013. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Cody Chatfield

    Resident Cody Chatfield drives his lifted 4x4 through his neighborhood looking at the flooded homes in the community of Bowness as up to 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday, June 21, 2013. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Water flows past flooded vehicles in the community of Bowness as up to 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday, June 21, 2013. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Vehicles are stranded in the flooded streets of Calgary, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013. Alberta's largest city was swamped Friday by floodwaters that submerged much of the lower bowl of the Saddledome hockey arena, displaced tens of thousands of people and forced the evacuation of the downtown core. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • This aerial photo shows the closed Trans-Canada Highway in Canmore, Alberta, on Friday June 21, 2013. Flooding forced the western Canadian city of Calgary to order the evacuation of the entire downtown area on Friday, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city’s hockey arena. Communities throughout southern Alberta are dealing with overflowing rivers that have washed out roads and bridges, inundated homes and turned streets into dirt-brown tributaries. About 350,000 people work in downtown Calgary on a typical day. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • Residents in the Eagle Terrace neighborhood of Canmore, Alberta, look out over what was the only road into the area on Friday June 21, 2013, after Cougar Creek flooded. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Rocky Mountain Outlook, Craig Douce)

  • Heavy equipment operators work to keep up with debris, as Cougar Creek pours over the Trans-Canada Highway near Canmore, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Rocky Mountain Outlook, Craig Douce)

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, centre, walks to a waiting helicopter with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, second from right, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, for an an aerial tour of flooding in Calgary, Alta. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in Calgary, Alta., Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, centre, boards a helicopter with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, for an aerial tour of flooding in Calgary, Alta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, far right, looks at a map of the flooded areas of Calgary with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, centre, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, as fire chief Bruce Burrell points out problem sites. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in Calgary, Alta., Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, centre, with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, left, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, speak to the media with the Calgary skyline and the flooded Bow river behind them on Friday June 21, 2013. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in Calgary.

Record floodwaters filled the Saddledome up to the eighth row over a week ago, but days afterward, Stampede officials vowed this year's event would go ahead "come hell or high water" beginning this coming Friday.

"I know the Flames are working really hard to deliver the Saddledome for us for the concert series," Kadatz said Sunday.

Performers for the series include Carly Rae Jepsen, Kiss, The Dixie Chicks and Tim McGraw.

According to a posting on the Calgary Stampede website about the penning competition, no other suitable replacement on the Stampede site exists.

"As you are no doubt aware by now, the recent catastrophic flooding in Calgary has caused extremely serious damage to the Saddledome," the posting advises participants.

"The fragile state of the flooring alone prohibits the heavy machinery and tons of dirt at this time, let alone the host of other major issues."

The heavy horse show, which features Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron and Shire horses moving to music of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, will also have to move from the Saddledome into a large tent called The Big Top. The website says organizers are hoping to announce a modified schedule soon.

Crews have pumped millions of litres of water from the rodeo grounds, scraped mud, torn out and replaced drywall and have been sanitizing surfaces in Stampede Park just southeast of downtown as the days tick down to the opening parade later this week.

Organizers and longtime Stampede volunteers say it's important for the party and rodeo to go ahead this year.

"I think more Calgarians are going to go this year because they want to say they went this year, because they have Calgary pride," said Cliff Steedman, a retiree who has been volunteering with the Calgary Stampede for three decades.

For the past few years, Steedman, who is 85, has been volunteering as a carpenter and built sets for cooking performances. Unfortunately, he said his son's home was damaged by the flooding, so he's busy helping with the cleanup and had to bow out of his Stampede duties this year.

Many other volunteers are still available, however, according to Stampede spokeswoman Jennifer Booth.

Now that the water has been drained from the grounds, she said the area is surprisingly dusty. The rodeo infield and track have been dried out. Crews are tearing apart walls inside buildings, while outside, other crews are planting flowers.

The midway rides have arrived and are being set up, Booth said.

Booth said the Stampede got a lucky break in that its electrical substation -- essential for everything from amusement rides to concessions -- was protected from water damage and is operational.

"It was very emotional to look at the Stampede park and to see the amount of water that was in there. I never thought that anything like this could ever happen ... it was sombre," Booth said.

"The only thing that can really pull you out of something like that is the positivity and the goal at the end of putting something on for the community."

"We're just very confident that the community needs the Calgary Stampede. We're a big icon for Calgary and for Canadians."

"Calgary Stampede has always been the heart and soul and the spirit of Calgary and this year it will be even more."

Stampede T-Shirts are being sold with the "Hell or High Water" slogan on them and the proceeds are being donated to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund.

Steedman predicts the obstacles will be overcome and the show will go on.

"I'm going to go. Everybody's going to go. Everybody who goes to Stampede every is going to go this year. They're going to make it," he said.

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Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith tweeted this photo of the rising waters of the Highwood River.

"This is the view of the bridge over the Highwood. Normally there is a couple metres clearance below it. #ableg #wrp"

southern alberta flooding

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You can find updates on various communities and their flood status at Alberta Emergency Alert http://www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca/

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Cougar Creek in Canmore is completely overrun by floods. High River, Black Diamond and Calgary are also facing quickly rising water levels. The latest on evacuations and warnings can be found in our story.

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From the Alberta Emergency Alert:

All residents in north west, south west and north east High River are under mandatory evacuation. Crews are working to reach residents in the Vista Mirage area. Information will be posted on the High River website at www.highriver.ca.

Evacuate immediately. Please go to Highwood High School on 12th Ave where the emergency evacuation centre has been opened.

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From Alberta Emergency Alert:

There is localized flooding in Town, beginning near the Foothills Lions Campground. Hwy 22 is closed near that location. Residents west of 1st St SW are being evacuated to the Reception Centre (Oilfields Arena). Power outages may follow. The Water Treatment Plant has been shut down due to flood & safety concerns. Residents are requested to conserve water.

Door to door notification of the evacuation is taking place. Donations of towels and blankets can be made at the Arena. Food donations may be required later in the day. The town is currently investigating sources of bottled water. More information.

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From the City of Calgary:

The decision was made by Deputy Mayor Richard Pootmans and Ald. John Mar to declare a SOLE based on the potential severity of the incoming high river flows in conjunction with expected heavy rainfall. The City of Calgary has begun to implement its flood response plans with the deployment of sandbags and temporary dams at key locations to protect property and infrastructure. The City is working to ensure the safety of Calgarians and asks for their patience and cooperation during this time. Citizens are reminded to: · Stay away from rivers and creeks as the water is rising and moving quickly, and banks may be unstable. · Avoid storm water ponds and storm drains, and do not let children play near them. · Do not drive through flooded areas such as underpasses. · If you experience basement seepage or overland flooding, call 3-1-1 to report. · If you or someone else is in imminent danger, call 9-1-1. Remember that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only; please use 3-1-1 for reporting non-emergency issues.

· Monitor local media and City of Calgary messages. For more information on flooding, visit calgary.ca/flooding.

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cougar creek

Photo: Wade Graham, Facebook

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Cougar Creek threatens homes with its mighty surge.

Video: Wade Graham, Facebook

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cougar creek canmore

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From Alberta Emergency Alerts:

There is a hazardous materials release threatening life and the environment. An sour gas pipeline rupture has caused a release of H2S in the Town of Turner Valley. Residents are ordered to protect in place. Emergency crews have evacuated the affected areas and will continue to monitor.

Instructions:

Move indoors and stay indoors. Prepare for possible evacuation. Seek medical attention if you experience breathing difficulties. Follow the directions of local authorities.

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"The City of Calgary has declared a state of emergency as expected heavy rainfall combined with the potential of incoming high river flows could become severe.

The city is implementing its flood response plan with the deployment of sandbags and temporary dams to protect property and infrastructure.

Calgarians are advised to stay away from rivers and creeks as rising water may makes banks unstable.

Driving through flooded areas such as underpasses or children playing near storm water ponds and drains should also be avoided."

More here.

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cougar creek

Photo credit: Lauren Wheeler

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Turner Valley, a community southwest of Calgary, was placed under an emergency alert Thursday after a sour gas pipeline ruptured. The alert urged people to move indoors and to prepare for a possible evacuation.

What is sour gas, exactly, and what's the harm? Read more here.

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Our friends up the hill got in a bit of a pickle today when they headed to Canmore to cover the flooding.

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The Town of High River is now under an emergency evacuation alert. There is extremely dangerous and rapid flooding occurring in High River. Authorities are warning residents to move to high ground.

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There is a threat of extremely dangerous and rapid flooding in the County of Lethbridge. The County of Lethbridge declared a local state of emergency at 11:10 a.m. and issued an evacuation order for residents living in the Oldman River valley.

An evacuee reception centre is at the County Administration building at #100, 905 4th Avenue South downtown.

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