Calgary Alberta, Canada, home to just over 1 million people, the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth, “The Stampede“, the Texas of Canada, Oil Country and gateway to the some of the finest skiing in the world, with incredible majestic mountains draping the landscape.
Growing up here, I know it sure felt like something divine (Goddess, God, Great Spirit, Nature, … ) spent a little more time on creating this place with an indescribable magic. In the last 24 hours, the city has experienced floods of biblical proportions, closing the downtown core, and swallowing up communities within reach of either the Bow River or the Elbow River, both of which run through the city. Truly Mother Nature has a way of humbling us all, from the very wealthy, to the very poor. Nature does not discriminate, it only moves that which is in the way, and when it does, it reminds us of who is really in control. Man and his conquest over the earth is at best illusionary, at worst a failure to live in union with his environment.
Surrounding the city of Calgary are Treaty 7 Reserves, which include members of the Blood tribe, Pikani, Siksika nation, Stoney Tribe and Tsuu T’ina. Confirmed evacuations include 3 communities out of Siksika Nation reserve, North band, South Band and the Resort, along with Stoney Nation reserve and Tsuu T’ina.
In an interview with Cam Hantiuk spokesperson for the T’suu T’ina nation, I asked him what he felt nature was telling us, was this her “rebalancing herself from the chemical trails in the airways, the environmental impact of relentless construction, etc… ” to which he replied no, that is a step towards evolutionary theory, to which I tried again, and asked if it was Mother Nature reacting to man’s activities, to which is said,
no it isn’t that either, for that is a step towards anthropomorphism, from the T’suu T’ina perspective Mother Nature isn’t that, “this is more like mother nature has a way of humbling all of us…
And humbled us she has. The wealthiest of zip codes in Calgary and surrounding areas were the first ones engulfed , as the most expensive properties of any city often sit near the water. Before Canmore was a quaint and rustic millionaire playground, it was a humble mining town. Now it’s two main streets are submerged making it impossible to go from one side of town to the other, and Cougar Creek was the first area hit, with crumbling embankments, as it sat not far off the highway.
Black Diamond and Turner Valley are pristine farming lands with spectacular views 360 degrees; they tend to be homogenous in population and suspicious of urbanites and not altogether friendly towards some of the First Nations population.
Meanwhile, for those residents already on the fringe of society, the flooding poses great risks to their survival over the next few days, possibly weeks until the extent of the damage is truly managed and accounted. For residents of the Calgary Drop-In Center, the flooding must seem even more overwhelming, stripping from them what little resources they had, and even the shelter itself.
The Drop-In Center is located on Riverfront Avenue, so it was one of the first places evacuated Thursday night. Reports say it is currently housing it’s 800 residents, short and long term living residents included in a temporary undisclosed facility. They need supplies desparately and are eager for whatever donations Calgarians are able to provide in this crisis. Donations are being received through the First Assembly church on Elbow Drive, interested volunteers or donations can contact 403 253 7136.
The beautiful and expensively built and maintained downtown cored is a ghost zone where only the water and what it pulls down with it remain, powerfully engulfing the heart of the city and it’s economic vehicles.
The water broke through the Saddleome destroying locker room, the jumbotron room, equipment and reports say it hit row ten over 5 hours ago. The downtown core is now a disaster zone as seen here by recent photographs. Calgary experiences floods of biblical proportions and it’s affects are rippling through the province. Areas that are not being evacuated are under warning to prepare for power outages; people are hastily making last minute trips to grocery stores to stockpile supplies and water, many of the stores are already out of water. So far the water supply is still drinkable, there is not a boil water alert.
There is a glimmer of hope and courage behind all this destruction; people are coming together already to support one another, thinking of ways to shine. #CalgaryCleanUp is scheduled for June 22, 2013 and any interested resident who wants to come out to help are welcome.
“The first thing they are trying to determine is what resources they will have and need. We will be preparing a list of community leaders – all on a sign-up basis. We are hoping to just mobilize folks to a central place where we can help the authorities in the massive clean-up effort required after this.”
Calgary Food Trust announced at noon, that it will be deploying vehicles and drivers brave enough to face this weather crisis to feed displaced residents. Follow them at #yycfoodtrucks for more information and to find out their routes
Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted that he spoke with Premier Allison Redford and Mayor Nasheed Nenshi earlier today, and has sanctioned the issuance of military troops to come in and assist in rescue missions and other needed emergency support.
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) June 21, 2013
Harper is on his way to Calgary, to tour the damage and has promised full support to rebuild the beautiful city.
I want to assure Albertans that the federal government has offered any and all possible assistance to the province of Alberta in response to the situation” Harper said in a statement.
About 600 Canadian Forces have been deployed the support the evacuation and rescue missions. Two helicopters have been dispatched by the Department of National Defence, which will assist the two civilian aircraft, an RCMP helicopter and a fixed wing airplace already in use.
Surely it is that spirit within Calgary, a magic that it’s so well known for, that grants it the privilege of so much beauty, health and prosperity. It is now more than ever that the city and it’s residents will be rewarded for cooperation, teamwork, kindness and caring about one another. In both the cleaning up and the rebuilding, the experience for Calgary and Southern Alberta is quite epic for a little city with such few environmental threats or local dramas. the #yycflood, is for Calgary an experience of epic proportions, complete with everything except Charlton Heston to play Moses, but with perhaps a lasting memory to keep all of our egos in check; Mother Nature has a way of humbling us all.
BizBoxTV Calgary 2013 Flooding Dramatic Photos
Calgary River Valleys
CTV News Troops Arrive To Help Out In Flooding Areas