ALBERTA

Chestermere flooding has residents east of Calgary recovering after thunderstorm damage

07/13/2015 03:56 EDT | Updated 07/13/2016 05:59 EDT
The cleanup continues in Chestermere — a city just east of Calgary — after a weekend storm left hundreds of homes damaged.

Officials are still assessing the damage from overland flooding Sunday during a thunderstorm that rolled through southern Alberta. They are still gathering estimates on the cost of cleanup and how long it will take.

Fire officials say lightning also struck a house in Calgary but crews quickly put out the blaze and no one was injured.

The storm knocked out power and forced about two dozen flight delays and cancellations at the Calgary airport.

Enmax crews were busy working to restore power in several spots in Calgary. Company spokeswoman Doris Kaufman Woodcock says staff were monitoring the weather and had extra crews on hand.

CEMA chief on cleaning up own basement

One of the residents directly affected in Chestermere happens to be the chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA).

Tom Sampson says fortunately the storm did not warrant the opening of the emergency centre in Calgary. He says he was putting out a warning to agency members when he thought he better check his basement.

"My sewer had backed out, and it punched out onto my floor ... and right through my house," he said.

Sampson said his training came in handy. He turned off the power and jammed the broken line with a towel.

"We've got our whole house ripped apart downstairs... So a lot of work to do. It's a little disheartening and it just gives you a taste — just a small taste — of what people went through in 2013, and I have to tell you it's quite different to live it personally."

He said the community has banded together to help each other recover, but more rain is expected in the Calgary area this week. Sampson says it's important to contact your insurance company right away, and be "very aggressive" with the water so mould doesn't take hold.