After years of construction, new gates on the Glenmore Dam are now ready to use.
They effectively double the capacity of the reservoir behind the dam to store water.
Many Calgarians are haunted by the 2013 flood which caused billions of dollars in damages in the city.
But the Elbow has seen several smaller-scale flood events since the turn of the century.
A city official said the 21 new gates installed on the dam will now provide protection against a one-in-30-year flood event.
2005 flood levels not an issue now
The leader of watershed analysis for the city’s water resources department, Frank Frigo, said this new level of protection would guard against a flood that was seen in 2005 which damaged riverside properties.
However, to prevent damage from a flood like 2013, the gates would have to work in concert with a new off-stream diversion project that the province is planning to build on the Elbow River in Springbank.
A city official said the 21 new gates installed on the dam will now provide protection against a one-in-30-year flood event. (Monty Kruger/CBC)
The new steel gates, which were manufactured in China, replace the previous system of wooden stop logs. Three gates were installed in each of the seven portals across the dam structure.
Each gate is 2.5 metres high, six metres wide and weighs four tonnes.
With electric-powered motorized hoists, the gates can be raised or lowered in minutes.
“They’re not unlike a garage door,” said Frigo.