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City of Calgary declares local state of emergency over catastrophic water main break

City says state of emergency allows for more co-ordination of action, and is an indicator of the seriousness of the situation.

Declaration made at 8 a.m. Saturday underscores seriousness of situation

A pipe is pictured from an aerial view.

The City of Calgary has declared a state of local emergency to deal with the ongoing water crisis caused by the catastrophic break to the city's main water feeder main pipe.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Sue Henry, Calgary's Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) chief, made the announcement during the mayor's daily news briefing Saturday morning.

"The decision to declare a state of local emergency was not taken lightly, and it was done to ensure we are prepared for all eventualities in the drive to have this water feeder main restoration work done as quickly and safely as possible," Gondek said.

"I am grateful to the government of Alberta for endorsing this approach and offering their support as we address this critical water situation."

Henry said the declaration is another sign of the seriousness of the situation.

"Under the state of local emergency, it allows for even more co-ordination of action, and is an indicator of the aggressive approach we are taking to restore full water service for all customers as soon as humanly possible," said Henry.

"This work is our top priority and we are bringing every tool in the toolbox to advance and support this massive construction effort, and to continue to ensure we have enough water for those critical life-safety needs."

WATCH | Water main break leads to state of local emergency:

Calgary mayor declares local state of emergency

20 minutes ago

Duration 15:36

Mayor Jyoti Gondek announced Saturday morning the City of Calgary had declared a local state of emergency to help address the ongoing water crisis caused by a catastrophic break to the city's water feeder main pipe.

Gondek said she has spoken to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, who has offered full co-operation. She said that she is reaching out to the private sector to find solutions, calling it an "all hands on deck situation."

The city announced Friday that it had discovered five additional sites on the water feeder main in need of repair. The additional breaks mean repairs could take another three to five weeks, city officials said.

Gondek said that the multiple repair sites will make it necessary to store equipment on private property. The state of emergency will allow the city to do that.

Both Gondek and Henry continued to stress the importance of conserving water Saturday morning.

"We are asking our citizens, businesses and partners to stay with us — to do what we know we must do — until we are back to regular service," said Henry.

The city's next update on the water feeder main break will be Saturday at 2 p.m. local time. Watch it live online or on the CBC Alberta YouTube channel.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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