I have started an entry a couple of times in the last month and then have selected “Move to Trash” for one reason or another – I am feeling more lucky this time around.
Let’s see, what has happened in the last month. Well…
June 20 – it started raining around noon, possibly earlier. This lead to the worst flooding in Calgary, ever. Apparently, there was a bad flood in 2005, that didn’t compare at all.
In the Banff and Canmore Alberta areas, they received more rain in a 24 hour period than they normally would in a month. That, combined with a heavy snow pack that was melting turned the normal docile Bow River into a menace that took out low lying neighbourhoods along its path.
As bad as the flooding was in Calgary, it was worse downriver in High River where a majority of the town was wiped out and residents are only now, 3 weeks later getting to see their houses and businesses.
Through nothing other than dumb luck on my part, I was high and dry in one of the higher areas of the city. I am sure that if I had found a place right beside the river, I would have thought, “wow, a view of the river” and would have taken it. No flooding here at all, no backed up sewer – I was lucky.
The office that I work at is downtown, in the west end of downtown away from the river and away from the areas downtown that were flooded and closed for 5 days or so. We didn’t even lose power in the office, it looks like we were on the opposite side of the street from where the power loss ended – I guess we must have been just on the other side of the grid.
A few of my co-workers were not so lucky. One of them who is a friend of mine lived within 2 blocks of the river in one of the hardest hit areas of the city. She and I visited her place on Saturday, June 22 and her basement suite was flooded, she lost a LOT.
The street out front of her place was partially dry but towards the end of it, towards Memorial Drive, it was completely under water. The median that divides the street could not be seen at all and the signs were nearly under water. It was something that I had only ever seen on TV or in movies. I was reminded of the devastation in New Orleans after the hurricane destroyed that city.
In the three weeks since the flood, the city has done a LOT of works towards righting itself. The Calgary Stampede is currently a go. The downtown area was opened within a week and the south-west transit line that carries over 100,000 people per day was opened in less than 2 weeks – remarkable when you see what the damage to the area and infrastructure was.
As I said, I was one of the lucky ones, looking at all of this from the outside.
I will get some pictures together and will post shortly. I am sure you’ve already seen a lot of this from the news which traveled around the world but it is still something to see and take in.