News / Calgary

Calgary's East Village could be without power for 'a few weeks'

City officials say they’ve made progress in re-energizing the downtown but are still struggling with the East Village, which could remain without power for weeks, according to Bruce Burrell.

The director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) updated media Thursday morning and said ground water in the east end of downtown is posing a problem.

“Our biggest challenge still remains the far end of East Village. It’s an area where we believe, although we can’t be certain because it’s going to depend on the rate that the ground water drops, but we believe that we’re talking about potentially a few weeks, not days,” said Burrell.

“That’s the area where we’re bringing generators in for some critical infrastructure, some of the seniors' buildings.”

Because the ground is so saturated, Burrell said crews are pumping areas out only to see them refill with water, like the 4 Street S.E. underpass leading to the East Village.

“You’ll see that’s still flooded. It’s been pumped out numerous times. It’s the water that’s coming out of the ground that’s refilling it,” he said. “You can’t pump out the entire ground water in an area that large.”

Burrell said city hall and old city hall are also in the area crews are having trouble re-energizing.

“The issue is not electricity — the electricity could be turned on but it wouldn’t be safe to do so. We’d probably blow a lot of transformers in a lot of buildings.”

More on