Monday, 24 June 2013

And the sky opened up and the water rose

This past weekend has been... something. Our city flooded. Not just a little, a lot. They had to evacuate people from their homes beginning Thursday afternoon (June 20) and on-going until ... well there are still some families not able to return to their homes. In total they had to evacuate 75,000 people. It broke my heart.

Calgary is big city, with a small town atmosphere. People have been helping out left right and center. Restaurants have been giving away meals, feeding first respondents. People offering a place to stay for the evacuees (via twitter and Kijiji) and taking in pets for some who can't take them to where they will stay for a while. People making meals from their own kitchens, and bringing them down to emergency evacuation centers. News reporters, working around the clock to keep the city up to date on information about the flood, and road closures and evacuations.

My favourite part about this so far has to be how amazing our Mayor has been. He's been working almost non-stop all weekend. Especially from Thursday until Saturday. He went for 2 days with no sleep! There was even a hastag #Nap4Nenshi. Made me feel so proud to have him as a leader and felt like I was part of a great community when even I joined in and tweeted him to take his nap.Here is Mayor Nenshi's last tweet before his nap:

Naheed Nenshi         @nenshi
And with that, a day that started 43 hours ago comes to a close. It included 1 plane, 2 helicopters and 3:45 am and 8:30 pm press briefings

Now comes the clean up. Our amazing city is in full clean up mode. This morning the city had sent out a request for 600 or so volunteers to come to the football stadium at 10 am... I've seen reports that over 2500 people showed up! How amazing is that??? (a few said 6000 but i'm not sure. I wasn't able to go down there to count) 

It's so hard to even believe that this has happened here. I live on a hill, at the edge of the city, and am nowhere near the water. So it's hard to look around my dry, clean neighborhood, and know that just a 15 minute drive south, i'd be faced with the smell of fish and mould, and see mud and water everywhere. I'm sure that if I was directly affected by all of this, my post today might not be as upbeat (if I've even written at all). 

The only remaining question for now is, how the HELL are they going to get the Calgary Stampede going in 11 days!!! (More on that tomorrow)
Here are some pics that my cousin took while wandering the city this weekend:

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