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Alberta Flood Mapping

December 10 2020

Cardston Flood Hazard Study

Study update notice

We would like to provide an update on the status of the Cardston Flood Hazard Study. The study started in spring 2019 and technical work on all components is now complete.

We recognize there is tremendous interest in the study and new flood mapping products. We are currently seeking public feedback on major study components as part of our study finalization process, including flood inundation maps that support local emergency response. We are planning future municipal and First Nation review and public engagement opportunities for other study components, including flood hazard maps used to inform long-term planning, and will provide an update when more information becomes available.

Participate in the engagement process and submit feedback by Friday, January 15, 2021 at 4:30 pm.

The Cardston Flood Hazard Study is being completed under the provincial Flood Hazard Identification Program, the goals of which include enhancement of public safety and reduction of future flood damages through the identification of river and flood hazards. The provincial study was co-funded through the federal National Disaster Mitigation Program.

More information about the Alberta Flood Hazard Identification Program can be found at:

If you have any questions regarding this work, the project engagement and education specialist, Julia Frohlich, can be contacted at:

Project background and study progress

The Cardston Flood Hazard Study assesses and identifies flood hazards along 14 km of Lee Creek through Cardston, Cardston County, and Kainai Nation.

The main study components outlined below include new hydraulic modelling and flood mapping, but all deliverables support local emergency response and land-use planning needs.

  • Survey and base data collection – Under public engagement

Hydraulic models and flood maps require high-accuracy base data. Field surveys and LiDAR remote sensing were used to collect river and floodplain elevations, channel cross section data, bridge and culvert information, and dedicated flood control structure details.

  • Hydrology assessment – Under public engagement

The hydrology assessment estimates flows for a wide range of possible floods along Lee Creek, including the 1:2, 1:5, 1:10, 1:20, 1:35, 1:50, 1:75, 1:100, 1:200, 1:350, 1:500, 1:750, and 1:1000 floods.

  • Hydraulic river modelling – Under public engagement

A new hydraulic computer model of the river system was created using new survey data and modern tools. The model was calibrated using surveyed highwater marks from past floods to ensure that results for different floods are reasonable.

  • Flood inundation mapping – Under public engagement

Flood maps for thirteen different sized floods, based on the hydraulic model results and the hydrology assessment, have been produced. Flood inundation maps can be used for emergency response planning and to inform local infrastructure design. These maps identify areas of direct flooding and areas that could be flooded if local berms fail.

  • Flood hazard mapping – Under internal review

Flood hazard mapping divides the 1:100 floodplain into floodway and flood fringe zones, to identify where flooding is deepest and most destructive. These maps can be used to help guide long-term development planning.

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