Although the sun is shining and our roads are dry, a short bike ride away our city is underwater.
Thursday morning, my child’s field trip to the reservoir was called off because of the rain. Hours later people were being evacuated from areas around the city. Some communities became isolated as the roads in and out were underwater. My child may have been trapped in a flood zone. 100,000 people were evacuated. Most of those found places to stay but only 1,500 people needed to use the shelters set up as people opened up their homes.
The small towns and First Nations communities around us were even harder hit.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/06/21/alberta-flood-video/ A house is swept downstream.
This is the Siksika Nation.
Another First Nations settlement, Morely, was evacuated also. They sent out a call for supplies and within hours trucks were dropping off donations. They have since needed to evacuate again.
There are stories of daring rescues of both people and animals.
This man and his cat were rescued when his truck fell into a sinkhole. Other people have reported seeing people jump in the river to save drowning fawns. Our animal shelters are full and donations of food and bedding are arriving there as well as other shelters. So many donations have arrived that they asking for people to wait before dropping off any more.
This one is often captioned “The floods swept away her house but he swept her off her feet”.
In a city of 1 million, there have been no deaths reported due to the flood. There are, however, people trapped in high apartment complexes in the flood zones. They are mostly elderly, people who don’t speak English and people with mental illnesses who were not able to respond to the evacuation notices. They are reporting taking care of each other and hopefully will be helped soon.
Our mayor went 43 hours without sleep. Other rescue workers, the police, and the army as well as volunteers have been working tirelessly. Our zoo was flooded but all the animals except for one peacock and some tilapia fish have been just fine.
We are fine. If this flood had happened a few days later, we were planning to be on this now nonexistent road or on the river with our new canoe.
It is amazing that so few lives have been lost. These flood waters continue East, where they have had a few days notice to prepare. Hopefully that will be enough time.