I’m not thinking about gardening right now.
It’s the first day of summer and I should be happy. (After all, winter was obscenely long, and spring was just plain weird…).
Unfortunately, the city of Calgary and about 20 outlying communities are under a state of emergency right now due to massive flooding – the kind of flooding that hasn’t happened in nearly a century, if ever. Two rivers – the Bow and the Elbow – flow through Calgary and pretty much all of the downtown core and any neighbourhoods near the banks are completely underwater. Up to 100,000 people have been evacuated in Calgary alone. Thankfully, the neighbourhood where my hubby and I live is on high ground, distant from the rivers. But the destruction is difficult to fathom, and it’s even worse outside of the city. I can’t believe the videos and photos I’ve seen on the ‘net from towns such as High River, Canmore, and Bragg Creek – they’re incredible and heartbreaking. The stories of loss and all of the amazing acts of kindness and generosity are overwhelming.
And it’s still raining in some of the affected areas.
I just hope everyone in the flood zones will be safe, and that we can all pitch in to lend a hand wherever needed!
I sure hope you’re having a better solstice than we are in southern Alberta! What are your plans (gardening or otherwise) for the weekend?
- Calgary Mayor says worst yet to come (castanet.net)
- Calgarians open homes, hearts to evacuees (globalnews.ca)
- Police say stay out of downtown Calgary as 100,000 evacuated due to flooding (calgaryherald.com)
- 1,200 troops deploying to help flood-hit Alberta communities (ctvnews.ca)
- Evacuations in Calgary to force 100,000 from homes as rivers burst banks (macleans.ca)
- City braces for worst of flooding; Elbow river likely crested, says mayor (calgaryherald.com)
- Flooding hits Calgary: ‘It’s like the apocalypse in here’ (metronews.ca)
- Alberta floods force thousands from homes (globalnews.ca)
- LIVE: Heavy rains, rising rivers prompt states of emergency in three cities (calgaryherald.com)
- Alberta flooding prompts state of emergency (disaster-report.com)
UPDATE (as of 23 June 2013) – More links:
As the sun starts to emerge on the city of Calgary (The Road Trip Hound)
Calgary’s state of emergency (Biggest Ball of String)
Witnessing a flood disaster (Time with Thea)
I’ve been watching the news and it is awful. We’ve been lucky up here. We are all under warnings because they had to open up the dam but so far only a bit of flooded parkland. They keep delaying the expected time the river will crest so hopefully it means they are managing it well at the dam. There is a BIG police and army presence on the highways coming into town at the south which makes us wonder if they are contemplating closing the QEII (we can’t figure out any other reason).
I hope your situation is still good there…I know there’s a threat further north of you on the North Saskatchewan, and the Red Deer River is wreaking havoc in Drumheller. The military have headed this way to help out here and in the south and west, but they may have to head back north if things get too much worse there. I’ve never seen flooding like this in my entire life, it’s incredible. Take care, stay safe.
We are still good and levels have gone down. Our city was so lucky. I guess there is a reason for the 100 year flood plain studies. It is so awful the destruction many are faced with. Hope all goes well for you, your friends and your family.
Thank you! I’m glad all is well there! Now, a few days and a lot of sunshine later, things look a bit better, but it will be a long, hard road. I feel badly for the people in High River right now, as they can’t go home yet.
Glad to hear you’re high and dry. We have a couple of friends who haven’t faired too well unfortunately. I’m shocked that insurance companies don’t cover ‘over land’ flooding…plain wrong.
So sorry to hear about your friends! I know, I can’t believe that about the insurance as well – it seems utterly insane. Some people have lost everything and have little means to recover.
I know, I feel heartbroken for them. I’m especially concerned for the people of Siksika Nation. In stark contrast to what’s going on in High River, Calgary and Canmore I saw no First Responder presence, large equipment or any relief on a news report last night. I hope we are heading there as I write 😦 It didn’t seem right at all.
I didn’t read a whole lot about what was going on in Siksika in the first couple of days, either, but help was sent out fairly quickly, I believe, and I know it’s ongoing and there are several groups assisting. The situation is really bad there, it will take a very long time for them to recover. It’s so horrible.
The flooding made front page on the international section of our paper today. It looks incredible. We have a deluge and storms here but your situation in Calgary and Alberta seems much worse. My nephew is in Calgary at the moment. The golf tournament he was to play in has been cancelled, naturally. I am going to pass on your post to his mother in Australia so she can see what is happening. Thanks for update. And hoping all will be well eventually.
Thanks so much! I hope your nephew made a safe return home – I don’t believe I read about any flight interruptions at the airport in and out of Calgary. The clean up has begun here now, but it will be a very long process – so much was damaged. I still can’t believe the devastation – we’ve been out walking about the past few days and it just seems surreal. I know you’ve had your share of powerful weather in Christchurch – the earthquakes weren’t that long ago. It must have taken a long time for the city to recover, and I imagine there were things that could never be fixed.
My nephew is on his way safely, thank you. Recovery from these acts of nature takes time it seems, and the devastation is surreal. Our central city remains a strange and surreal place, more broken than repaired. It is going to take years to fully recover; sometimes I think it will not be in my lifetime. All the best for you and your city.
Oh, I just managed to get to my e-mail (I’m so late!) and read your blog post Take One Box (http://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/take-one-box/) – how it resonates with me, especially at this time, even though I wasn’t actually in any of the evacuation zones.
It makes one think doesn’t it? Have any of those evacuated been able to return to their homes yet?
Most Calgary residents are safe at home now, but the power is still out in a few communities where the flooding was most severe. The small town of High River just south of us is still under evacuation, and it seems unlikely their residents will be able to go home anytime soon.
A difficult time for many then. I am sure the communities will rally round with support and understanding.
Those pictures and videos are simply awful. And I heard you are expecting a lot more rain in the next few days – stay safe! Our thoughts and prayers are with our Canadian neighbours…
Thanks! We finally have blue skies here today, but more rain is forecasted for later in the week. I just hope that it will not hamper the clean up efforts too severely – we need all the sunshine we can get!
So sorry to hear you are experiencing extreme weather. We also had flooding in Germany just a couple of weeks ago and some people’s lives have been changed forever. Heartbreaking, but like you, the stories of acts of kindness and the massive coordination of help and volunteers through social media are heartwarming too. All the best, and hope it dries up in your area soon.
Thanks so much, Cathy. I know it has been so awful in Europe as well – we couldn’t believe all the images we saw from countries such as Germany. You’re right about the role social media has to play in recovery – it can make such a huge difference, be such a positive tool.
I hadn’t heard about the flooding in your area, Climate change really does seem to cause these disasters more and more often now, I do hope we can do something to reverse all the problems we have caused to our world. Hoping the rain stops soon and that people don’t forget too soon, as the after effects of this kind of disaster continue long after it has ceased to be ‘news’.
You’ve made some great points, Christina – I couldn’t agree more!
Good luck with the weather. Sorry to hear about the floods.
While we’re out of the woods here now in Calgary and area, it’s really bad further south of us in Medicine Hat, and now there is flooding up north near Edmonton, our capital city. The whole province seems to be underwater right now!
It’s hard to believe – my heart goes out to anyone affected. Glad you are on higher ground. I can’t imagine… here’s hoping it turns around quickly.
Already there are so many people eager and willing to help out in any way they can – I think things will move along faster than it initially appears. But so much infrastructure was damaged – roads, bridges, train tracks etc., it is really going to a difficult task.
I live on the East Coast, USA, and our spring gave us enough rain to make our yearly quota. There were some severely heavy rains. I understand what you’re experiencing.
Oh my goodness – there have been so many weather-related disasters all over the world. I do hope everything is much better there now for you.
This is so awful..we had flooding but nothing like this. Hoping the sun shines soon for you!!
Thanks so much, Donna. This is definitely the worst this area has ever seen. I can’t believe the devastation, it’s just unreal.
Oh no! Please stay safe!
We’re so fortunate to have not lost anything…but so many have. This is going to be a very long recovery; things will never be the same.
So terrible! Happy you are high and dry. Hopefuly all will be good soon. Take Care, Johanna
Thank you, Johanna!
it is so heartwarming to know that you are safe in such disaster. We have been praying for safety for all of those affected by these floods and hope the waters subside soon.
Thank you. The waters are finally going down here, at least, and the massive cleanup is underway. And the sun is shining today!
Good luck with that recovery! And thanks for the follow on my blog! Looking forward to reading more of yours.
Thanks so much; I appreciate it! I’m so pleased to have found your blog!