Where do I begin...The last few days as we mark June 21/2013 have been anything but a breezy day at the office or laying around curled up with a good book! For many it has been a nightmare, chaos from people being evacuated from their home, homes destructed and flown down the river, streets, bridges destroyed, animals loose and lost, people scurring to every grocery store to stock up on water, supplies, to not knowing where the nights sleep would be. For me, I was lucky to live on higher ground in an area that was not affected by the flood of 2013.
As the evening hour approached on Thursday June 20, we learned how Canmore, High River, Turner Valley and Black Diamond had been affected tremendously of the flooding waters, homes, bridges, businesses, under water or washed out completely. For many of us we either were glued to every social media outlet or TV as we watched devastated. You know it is bad when you hear 'All schools will be closed tomorrow', 'State Of Emergency'. The flooding was not going to stop there by late Thursday evening into Friday the waters flooded so many communities of Calgary, Downtown, Stampede grounds, The Zoo all under water and it was not stopping the water came in at such high magnitudes like nothing else we have ever seen before! It was very sudden, surreal, tragic as all we could do was sit and be home Friday and wait it out..What a helpless, sadden feeling I felt all day...I tried so hard to distract myself with the few clients I had Friday as many either cancelled or stayed home where we all were to be. It was so hard to watch...so Carol Burnett offered some comfort and humor!
By Saturday morning I knew I had to do something anything but sit... I knew I could not do much in Calgary so I called my friend Liz grabbed my rubber boots, gloves, and hat and headed to Home Depot. I grabbed as many poly rolls as I could and asked the manager on staff if they would provide me with a discount as I was heading to Redwood Meadows where they needed the supplies. He kindly mentioned that he would this time however he gave me the information of the head office to direct the people of Redwood Meadows with the aid they needed.
We arrived at Redwood Meadows, I had such a wonderful feeling come over me to see so many volunteers come out to help from the area and Calgary. I was not counting but we filled as many sand bags and stacked up building burms to help keep the high waters of the river at bay. By the end of day we heard somewhere 15,000 sand bags had been filled. Yahoo! Alot of hard work but well worth it! We stopped for a break in the day for lunch and I stopped in at the administration desk to speak with one of the ladies who was organizing. She looked very overwhelmed, tired, sad and I had not known if she had lost her home or not. I gave her the information from Home depot and told her to contact them as they will help supply with gift cards to the aid you many need. She looked up at me with her eyes filled with tears to Thank me and all I could do was just hug her as I tried my best to hold the tears back. What a moment...They were so gracious and Thankful that we came to help and assist from Calgary! That's what we do we stick together.
On another day, I learned that our Canadian Military required food, Tim Horton gift cards, and baby wipes. They have been working endless hours to help in all areas possible and to think that at the end of a day or in between a break that they would have to think about where to get a hot cup of coffee, soup or sandwich. This troubled me and I felt the need to help donate. The reality is in some areas there is absolutely no convenience store, fast food or grocery stores open as many places are completely washed out and no facilities.
In the upcoming days we have seen and heard so many wonderful stories break out despite under a State of Emergency. Some of them have truly lifted our spirits, made us smile or not. Many people rescued by helicopter from rooftops, a lost dog found by its owner, a cat who led his owner to shore in the dreadful high waters, Ice $20.00 shameful, Zoo animals safe in City hall jail cells, 7000 volunteers in Calgary turn out at McMahon stadium to unite and show their support, and even children raise money through baking sales door to door and lemonade stands.
In so many ways the out pour of help and how we as Calgarians have come together united has really humbled and lifted my spirits through a time we can only hope we will never have to face again. Calgary Proud!~ A moving, beautiful video with such a good message to share.