As of 4 p.m. Thursday (June 20) the situation within the Banff townsite was stable, with closures of surrounding highways and roads being the main area of concern.
Diana Waltmann, manager of communications and marketing, spoke on behalf of the Town of Banff.
“We are not under any emergency — we are on standby — but there is no flooding situation,” she said.
Trans-Canada Highway was closed, both westbound from Banff to Lake Louise, and eastbound from Banff to the Park Gate.
“The highway is closed out of Banff, in both directions, so people that are here are here — but there’s plenty of capacity at the hotels — and we have closed just our river pathways and recreation grounds,” said Waltmann. “Everything’s open and transit is running.”
Between Banff and Canmore, engineers were accessing the safety of the bridge at Carrot Creek, the central reason for this closure.
Highway 93S, connecting Castle Junction to Radium, and Highway 93N, from Lake Louise to Saskatchewan Crossing, were also closed. Sunshine Road and Norquay Road were both also closed, due to landslides.
All roads and bridges within the town were open. According to the Town website, drinking water has not been impacted and is safe to drink. Wastewater systems are functioning normally.
Additionally, ss a precaution, Parks Canada staff were moving campers at Two Jack Lakeside Campground to higher ground at Tunnel Mountain Campground. There are no reports of injuries.
Banff is ready and willing to assist Canmore, said Waltmann.
“We have a traffic crew, a fire crew and emergency social crew in Canmore assisting, and we’re standing by with any further crews and earth-moving equipment, should we be called upon,” she said. “Emergency crews will still be allowed to get through to Canmore.”
Events for Friday (June 21) at The Banff Centre have been cancelled, says Jill Sawyer, media and communications officer.
“Given the circumstances with the highway, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel tomorrow’s Aboriginal Day events,” she said. “Hopefully we can schedule something similar at a later date.”
A determination has yet to be made whether or not to cancel Saturday’s Performance in the Park, said Sawyer.
For more information on road conditions in the Banff area, please visit the 511.alberta.ca and www.drivebc.ca websites.