Nightly News   |  June 22, 2013

Deadly floods hit western Canada

Heavy flooding in Canada has claimed at least three lives and forced 100,000 people to evacuate. Janet Dirks reports.

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>> to the state of emergency in parts of canada where heavy flooding claimed three lives and forced 100,000 to evacuate. janet dirks, the bureau chief for ctv national news is there tonight. janet, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, lester. canada's prime minister calls the flooding in city "stunning." while the walteult waters tonight are starting to recede for some the worst could be yet to come. when the water rose it rose fast. sweeping homes right from their foundation. at least three people have been killed. more than 100,000 evacuated. after the worst flood in memory devastated the western canadian city of calgary and communities nearby. more than 5 inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours . overflowing rivers swallowed vehicles and washed away roads.

>> we had a river going down our road.

>> reporter: some residents were stranded for hours. many had to be rescued by boat, helicopter or any vehicle large enough to make it through the fast-moving floodwaters.

>> i just quickly packed a bag and tried to get out in the car. i got it to the end of the street. i couldn't get any further.

>> we were just stuck.

>> reporter: rushing waters closed the transcanada highway and forced evacuation of all downtown calgary . mass transit was shut down. and the city's nhl arena was flooded to the tenth row. even the sight of the city's famed rodeo, the stampede, set to begin in just nine days is underwater. canadian prime minister stephen harper toured the damage friday.

>> this is incredible. i don't think any of us have ever seen anything like this. the magnitude is just extraordinary.

>> reporter: south of calgary, the town of high river remains under a mandatory evacuation. authorities estimate that at least half of the town's 13,000 residents experienced flooding in their homes. throughout the area thousands are still without power. and it could be the middle of next week before everyone can return home.

>> a lot of people are going to be hurting.

>> reporter: as the floodwaters start to recede here, all eyes shift to the communities downstream, where tonight evacuations have already begun in parts of saskatchewan where officials fear the water levels could go to unprecedented high levels. lester.

>> thank you.