If you haven't heard, our province was hit with devastating floods the past few days. I have lived in Calgary my entire life (almost 30 years) and have never seen anything of this magnitude before. The boyfriend and I are lucky enough to live way up high on a hill and a bit away from the river so we were not effected.
|The city of High River on Thursday afternoon. Via Twitter.|
I did however have to go and rescue my sister on Thursday night who lives in an area close to the river and doesn't have a vehicle. I left my home immediately when they announced the evacuation of her area and was there within ten minutes. If I would have left even five minutes later I would have been driving though water to get her. It was creeping up just a few feet from my car and starting to flood homes as I was driving by. As we turned the corner around her house and passed over the bridge by Bowness Park... it was devastating to see an area that should be an ice rink in the winter and then park and picnic areas which are normally spread out and far from the river now completely submerged. Water so high that it was half way up the trees in the highest elevation areas.
|Old Man dam being opened on Thursday night. via Twitter.|
These photos below were taken very close to my home. This is normally the area I walk through to get home after work. Those trees should not be under water...
This video (found via twitter) was taken in this exact area.
|Water flooding all areas near the river.|
Calgary is supposed to have the Stampede (the biggest outdoor show on earth) in less than two weeks. TWO WEEKS! But this is what the Stampede grounds look like right now.
It would be a complete miracle to pull it off this year. But crews (and all citizens) are determined. It may not be the Stampede we normally see but it will happen and I will be there full of pride.
These are photos I have taken myself (unless noted differently) and they don't even show the beginning of the damage and devastation all across the province. Thousands of people have completely lost their homes, many washed away in the river.
This truly has been devastating and as far as we know there have been three fatalities in the extremely hard hit areas outside of Calgary. The damage will be insurmountable when the water finally all recedes.
Although this has been completely unbelievable to live through, I have honestly never been more proud to be an Albertan. Approximately 75,000 people were evacuated from their homes and only about 1500 had to go to the evacuation center's. Everyone else was taken in by friends, family and some even by strangers who are in safe areas. That is remarkable.
The entire province (and actually all across the country) have extended a helping hand and are willing to help out anyway they can.
Food trucks offered their services and took post at the evacuation center's. Restaurants have opened their doors (and menu's) for anyone who had to leave their home.
Anyone and everyone has lent a helping hand and this is just the beginning. The clean up will be a long and daunting process and we will all be there for each other as a community.
The biggest thank you's have to go out to our Mayor Nahid Nenshi and the entire city counsel as well as all City of Calgary crews, Calgary Police, all fire crews, all military crews (including my boyfriend's brother) and all media for keeping the entire city well informed and most importantly, safe and dry. Your efforts and hard work is truly amazing and does not go unnoticed. We as a community cannot thank you enough.
My thoughts go out to everyone effected by the flooding.