Downtown Calgary residents forced out by flood finally allowed to go home

Hundreds of residents forced to flee their downtown apartments were finally able to return home Friday.

Tenants lost heat, water and electricity when pipes burst in the Westview Heights building in the 800 block of 8 Ave. S.W. on Dec. 22.

The Calgary Fire Department completed a fire inspection Thursday morning and said the 41-floor building passed all necessary aspects of the fire code.

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“They’ve gone through the building. Everything passed with flying colours. We’ve got our trades on site and the trades are still going forward,” said leasing manager Don Habib.

“This is gonna be an ongoing process for a while but all the tenants are being brought back to their suites and they’ve got everything running… they’re very happy to be back home.

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Habib said they’re taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Click to play video: 'Evacuees from downtown high-rise remain in limbo over return home date' Evacuees from downtown high-rise remain in limbo over return home date

Evacuees from downtown high-rise remain in limbo over return home date

“We are checking every pipe,” he said. “We have changed a lot of pipes just to make sure we have good, strong new equipment going in as we do the change.

“So we’re upgrading as we go and that’s why it’s gonna be a several month process just to make sure everything’s done properly.”

Residents of the nearly 300 units have been staying with family and friends or in various hotels.

One resident who has been staying in a hotel for the last two weeks and said it felt good to be home, “but it’s still kind of rancid in there.”

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Downtown Calgary apartment building evacuated during cold snap – Dec 27, 2021

Mort Frazer, another resident, had only recently moved into the building when the flooding happened. She said she’s also happy to be home.

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“Feels like I came home… I missed my room a lot,” she said.

The management company said it’s too soon to tell the exact cost of the damage.

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