Calgary flood aftermath…
In some areas of Calgary life carries on as though nothing happened. In other areas lives have been forever changed by Mother Nature. Streets are lined with mud, downed trees and people slogging around in rubber boots; the looks on their faces almost unreadable now, after days and days of sleeplessness and heartbreak. What looks like garbage is piled high on every. single. front lawn. Every single item has been removed from some homes and thrown out on the lawn for removal. It hurts to call it garbage because it shouldn’t be. Those “garbage piles” were once peoples much loved possessions.
Just yesterday, watching the news gave me a sense of hope, as streets that had been cleared and smiling faces flooded the screen. I was amazed at how fast it was happening and wondered how parts of the downtown would be opening up within days and how the Calgary Stampede would happen “come hell or high-water””. It brought about a false sense of happiness and now I realize I didn’t fully grasp the devastation of the situation. After talking with others, I realize I am not the only one that felt that way.
The reality is not cleaned streets and business as usual. It’s an entirely different story for many. Yes, Calgary is strong and wonderful and the citizens are working hard in a million different ways. Strangers are showing up to pump out water, haul garbage, offer supplies, bring food, help with electrical. Residents in some flooded areas are overwhelmed with help and are pulling together with a completely different and new sense of community. But then there are the areas that remain fairly quiet. The help has not yet come. When I saw this for myself I sat in my car for a moment and quietly cried. I had no idea. If you haven’t been in to these areas you have no idea. I walked a few blocks up the street and was stopped by residents wary of my presence. I was asked how I was doing and embarrassingly admitted that I was fine. “How are you doing” I asked them in return. It almost seems like an insulting question. Everyone said “We are okay” but their faces show defeat.
Help is needed. Here are some websites to visit if you can help, and remember, it’s not just Calgary that needs you.
If you have a Twitter account there are many communities that are asking for volunteers as well. Search for hashtags #yyc, #yychelps, and #abflood.
If you know of other organizations or individuals that are looking for help please feel free to post in the comments section below.