It’s been a difficult day today and part of yesterday when the city went under emergency alert due to flooding. Both the Elbow River and the Bow River were extremely high, and expected to crest before midnight. That would cause them to overflow their banks. Low areas of the city went under alrt and later on, under mandatory evacuation. By the time I went to bed last night, 7 neighborhoods in the city were under mandatory evacuation and lots of people had to leave their homes on short notice with whatever they could take with them.
Last night, at around 11:48 p.m. we received an email from work saying that they had decided to close the office downtown after monitoring the situation. This morning, at 5:30 a.m. when I woke up, the downtown core was closed down and there was no transit to get into the downtown core.
As I write this … the rain is still falling non stop, very heavily at times, and the situation is getting worse around the city. The Elbow River has crested, and now about 24 neighborhoods around the city are under mandatory evacuation. Approximately 100,000 people have been affected. One of those, is my oldest son Sebastian who lives in Mission, about a block from the river. I finally connected with him this morning and he was at work trying to see if they could figure a way to get their equipment out of the water’s range, if or when it gets to them. Last night before he left his apartment he took a few valuables with him and stayed overnight at a friend’s. Unfortunately, the two cats stayed behind. Around noon he tried to get to his apartment to get the cats out but was turned around by the water. He said that the water is up to the windows in the cars parked on the street, and was hoping the water was going to stay level and out of his second floor apartment. He could not get to his cats, so we hope they will be OK. I am keeping my fingers crossed that his apartment will stay dry.
And I feel a bit guilty because as of now, my house is dry and hopefully will stay that way. I managed to connect with some friends in Canmore which has been hugely affected by flooding but I am happy to say I heard that Dean, Leah and their family, as well as Sugar Pine are safe. The same can be said for friends in the Bragg Creek Area who live at higher elevations, and are for now safe.
Unfortunately, my friend in Bowness, who just moved in to her house, has not been that lucky. I have not heard from her yet, but the street she lives on was under water this morning.
To the High River Residents, and all of those affected here in town, my thoughts and prayers are with you. The outporing of help and support has been incredible for shelters around the city and will continue in the next few days.
This has just started. The Bow River hasn’t crested yet, which means that it is not over. Over the next few days, hopefully rain in the area will taper off and the waters will start to recede. The city will pull together to help those who need it the most and the clean up will begin. As I said, this is just the beginning. There will be lots of debris and mud and damage around, and we’ll all do our part to help reconstruct this city of ours.
The Calgary Stampede is two weeks’ away and if I know something about Calgary, is that the show will go on. We’ll see what the waters leave behind once they recede, as they have flooded the Stampede Grounds, the Saddledome and the downtown area.
if you need information, please go to www.calgary.ca and/or calgarycitynews.com. My TV has been on and I have been following developments closely.
For all those out there, hold on and hang tight. And above all, stay safe.