Alberta Floods

Apologies that this week’s blog isn’t about running but as you may or may not know, parts of Alberta have been hit by devastating flooding this past week.  A number of people lost their lives and thousands were evacuated from their homes and have still not been allowed back.

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In my little town, we escaped most of it. A number of homes and businesses were flooded and many residents were evacuated as a precaution, including my daughter and her family. Many of our pathways and bridges have been lost into the river and beautiful parks destroyed.  However, our losses are nothing compared to other towns. Many have been affected but I am just going to tell you about our neighbouring town of High River that sadly lived up to its name last week.

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Although we were aware that the rivers were high with rainfall and snow melt from the mountains, the first I knew of the severity of the situation was from a text message from my daughter. She had received a message from her husband who works for a utilities company and had been called out to High River. He told her that the town was flooding and the water was rising at a truly frightening rate. His crew were assisting the emergency services with evacuating residents and were waist deep in water. This picture shows how fast the water rose with a truck almost submerged, and the driver swimming to rescue his cat. Happily, Kevan was able to rescue Momo and both were safe.

in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jordan Verlage

The 12,000 plus residents of High River are still under evacuation orders and officials do not know when they will be allowed to return home.  Some were able to stay with relatives, some are living in trailers parked at Walmart but many are living in evacuation centres with nothing but the clothes they were wearing at the time. People were ordered to evacuate immediately and had to leave pets behind as well as all their possessions. It is truly shocking and heart wrenching to see posts on social media asking for news of missing loved ones, pictures of rescued pets found exhausted in the flood waters as well as the requests for clothing and toiletries.

In times of disaster, it is truly amazing how people come together and support each other, not only the  emergency services and first responders, but utilities workers, town employees and many citizens of neighbouring towns.

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Here is ‘incredibly photogenic’ firefighter rescuing a lady from the floods. Apparently he is smiling because the lady in his arms had just told him the last time she was carried like that was on her wedding day.

Thank you everyone for your love and support towards all our flood victims, and I count myself very lucky that I live in such a caring part of the world.

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