Cougar Creek Construction

After the devastating floods in Alberta last June, the province is still scrambling to get the affected rivers and creeks back to shape before the return of this year's spring flood.  My home town of Canmore was especially hit hard, check out this link showing Cougar Creek during the flood.  I wasn't even home to see the events unfold with my own eyes as I was working on a golf project in China at the time. It was extremely frustrating to get any kind of information on what was actually going on as news media is filtered in that country.  Luckily everything was okay and no one was hurt.

Now Canmore is picking up the pieces.  After consulting with a host of international experts, the province decided it wants  to rebuild Cougar Creek and armour the banks with Articulating Concrete Mats so that future 'debris flows' could be mitigated and more "controlled".  In addition to the installation of the mats, a large debris net is being installed in the narrowest part of Cougar Creek canyon to stop uprooted trees from clogging culverts and bridges downstream.  The net will be like a giant spider web of cables and is only supposed to be temporary. I don't think anyone really knows what to do about this whole situation.

While waiting for the winter months to end - so I could get back to golf course work - I joined the efforts in rebuilding Cougar Creek.  Working for a local engineering firm, I was hired to help reshape and re-establish the newly designed (engineered?) creek.  Even though I was in a brand new 700k dozer with all the comforts of modern machinery, the work was taxing on the body.  For those who operate dozer would know, pushing frozen creek boulders the size of suitcases in -30 degree temperatures all day is tough on the back and neck!  Nonetheless, things started to take shape and I have posted a few pictures of the amazing morning sunrises in Canmore and the views from the project.  Spring is now around the corner, let's see how things hold up!

If interested in seeing local photographer Kelly Schovanek's pictures of the flood, check out the link and purchase his book....

- Riley

Riley Johns