The water has been removed, now begins the onerous task of assessing the damage and make repairs.

Over three feet of water filled the basement of the Cochrane Museum over the weekend when the Bighill Creek breached its bank and groundwater flowed through the Cochrane Ranche Historic Site. Downstream the creek raged through the Glenbow community and levels were extremely high.

William Thompson, foreground, and Robert Amatto, of PuroClean.Larry Want, president of the Cochrane Historical Archival Preservation Society (CHAPS) which operates the museum, says the basement was drained by 8 p.m. on Mar. 24. On Monday, CHAPS members, volunteers and PuroClean workers began the clean.

Power was restored yesterday and they hope to fire up the furnace today. About one thousand of CHAPS photographs were taken to Want's arena where they were wiped and laid to dry on tables by a team of CHAPS members and volunteers who stepped forward to help.

"They went to the arena and spent most of the day there, stripping the pictures out of the albums and laying them on the tables and wiping them dry," says Want.

Over a thousand photographs were wiped and laid out to dry. (Photo Courtesy of Larry Want)

It's too early to estimate the damage to the building, equipment loss and supplies, let alone the archives. Expensive office dividers, high-quality printer, scanner, computer and drawers full of quality photo paper were among the casualties of the flood that will need to be replaced.

Those wishing to reach out to the society to lend financial help or are able to help replace equipment and supplies are welcome to contact CHAPS at

Want doesn't believe the flooding will delay the opening of the scheduled opening of the museum in June.