I am very fortunate. Those of you who follow me on twitter are probably well aware from my retweets that there was something bad going on in my city. I live in Calgary which is on the banks of two rivers. On Thursday/Friday, both rivers experienced a 1 in 100 year flood. The results are devastating and left downtown, our zoo, and the Stampede grounds completely flooded, twenty four (I think was the final total) communities evacuated for over 48 hours. Mine was one of the communities evacuated and it left me three days to think several very long thoughts.
I am incredibly fortunate that I have so many people who love and care for me. Mark and I stayed with his parents, but my aunt and uncle would have taken me in and I had three separate sets of friends offer their houses as a crash pad. Mark’s parents were in the process of moving, and weren’t really set up for guests, but they made every effort to keep us comfortable and happily fed. It was actually a pleasant, if busy, weekend helping them move.
I am fortunate that my house was undamaged and didn’t even lose power. There are many people in my city that weren’t so lucky. Mark, the cats, and I were all fine, but I worried all weekend that the aquarium would lose power or that my basement would be ruined (since insurance doesn’t cover overland flooding). Some of my fellow Calgarians (and southern Albertans) lost everything.
I’m fortunate that I live in a city where people who wanted to volunteer had to be turned away because there were too many of them. And supplies that were donated weren’t needed, because there were too many of them. I’m amazed that, of the 75,000 people displaced, only about 1,500 needed to use the evacuation centres, because other people, sometimes complete strangers, took them in.
I’m fortunate to have been able to watch as Telus offered free local and long distance calls to victims, Shaw opened up their usually locked WiFi points so that people had free WiFi, UHaul offered free storage, and too many restaurants and businesses to count offered food to evacuees and clean up crew.
My city will survive, and so will the people in it. As far as I know, nobody from Calgary was injured or killed in the flood and the emergency management team was amazing in ensuring that. There’s still a lot of cleanup left to do, but with the number of people already volunteering to help, I think that it will take less time than they forecasted. “Come Hell or High Water” the Stampede will start on July 5 and the city will endure.
And we are fortunate to be able to say that.