I haven’t mentioned this before, but the city where I go to school is Calgary, Canada. And right now, Calgary looks like this:
Roads are closed. Exams are cancelled. 100 000 people have been evacuated and some of my friends have lost their homes completely.
We’re used to flooding here, especially at this time of year when the snow in the mountains melts and flows into our rivers. We put weeping tile and sump pumps in our basements, and we pile sandbags down streets. No one was prepared for this, though. How can you ever be prepared for a real natural disaster? Natural disaster. It still feels weird to call it that. Natural disasters happen to other people in other places, not here.
Our family is lucky. Most of downtown Calgary is underwater and the town of High River is unrecognizable, but we live on a hill in a town that didn’t get hit quite as hard as others. We’re all affected in some way though. I know a lot of people who were evacuated, and every day at work I meet more customers who have lost their homes and don’t know what they’re going to do now, or where they’re going to live.
What’s really amazing is how quickly people have jumped up to help however they can. A lady came to my door today and said she was going door to door praying with people. And the city asked for 500 volunteers to help clean up the Stampede grounds in downtown Calgary and 7000 showed up. Everyone is donating food and clothing and toiletries to people who have lost their homes and are living in evacuation centres. There is even a place where you can donate your grad dress to the girls from High River who lost theirs in the flood and have nothing to wear to their grad next week.
It’s an awful situation, but everyone is pulling together to get these places back on their feet. People are being so caring and compassionate and hopeful and they have never for even one second given up, even in the face of so much destruction. I’m really proud to call this place home.
Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the people of Alberta right now. They could really use it.