By Allan Muir
UPDATE: Calgary radio station X92.9 is reporting that the flooding from from the Bow and Elbow rivers has now reached the 14th row of the Saddledome with extensive damage to the building.
Meanwhile, Eric Francis, who covers the Flames for the Calgary Sun, confirms what that means:
Francis also reports there are no images available of the damage yet as the area is inaccessible and only one employee is in the building at this time.
Deputy police chief Trevor Daroux has confirmed that the water reached the 10th row this morning. He said the Saddledome flooding “paints a very clear picture of what kinds of volumes of water that we’re dealing with.”
“This is not simply something we can pump out.”
Contacted by the Calgary Herald, Libby Raines, the vice-president of building operations for the Saddledome, could not confirm the varying reports of damage to the arena. "I don’t know if people are just estimating," she said. "We had someone in there [Friday] morning and we do have a significant amount of water, for sure, but I’m not going to speak to where or what row or whatever."
It's an absolutely staggering image.
With the city of Calgary besieged by water overflowing from the Bow and Elbow rivers, CBC Radio's Julie Van Rosendaal posted this photo capturing the impact of the flooding in the downtown area. It clearly shows the Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames and the Western League's Calgary Hitmen, surrounded by the rising waters.
Eric Francis, tweeted this moments ago:
Fortunately, Flames' employees were warned to stay at home this morning. The entire downtown core has been evacuated as heavy rain falls and water continues to pour in.
There were talks ongoing about a new arena for the Flames. This event seems likely to have an impact on the debate.
The neighbouring Calgary Stampede is also under water, seemingly putting the July 5 start of the legendary rodeo in jeopardy.
The Flames have yet to issue a statement. We'll update the situation when we know more.