In June 2013 Southern Alberta found itself in turmoil after record rainfalls most notably in the mountains on the western edge of the province. The rivers started to rise and soon spilled their banks. In only a few short days 32 separate areas declared a Local State of Emergency and the army was called in to help. Many areas both rural and urban were put under mandatory evacuation orders. Said and done over 100,000 people found themselves displaced. As the waters finally receded they left behind a 5 billion dollar clean up bill and lots of work to be done! But the people of Alberta steeped up and the volunteer response was amazing.
The floods came just weeks before the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” The Calgary Stampede. With the grounds under water and parts of the horse track washed away by the river many were wondering if the show could go on, and some even questioning if it should go on so soon after the flood with so many people still displaced due to destroyed homes. In the end the show must go on “come hell or high water”! not just for the monetary influx the city experiences every year as a result but because after such an event the city needs a sense of normalcy people need to know things will be ok.
Now over a month after the flooding the city of calgary has returned to normal, the downtown core looks as it always has. Prince’s Island Park is a little worse for the ware but just hosted Calgary Folk Fest. The town of High River is still undergoing major work as nearly the entire town was underwater but “We are Alberta, We will rebuild”!
My thanks to the brave men and women who assisted with the floods! Emergency responders and the military went far beyond what was asked of them and Alberta is a better place today because of them!
For more flood images consider checking out this google image search.
A video used to kick off the 2013 Stampede Parade showing the flood damage and recovery process.
The photo above was taken Friday June 21st at 8:00pm near Balzac, Alberta as the 1st Battalion, Prince’s Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry stopped to refuel and regroup before passing through calgary on their way from CFB Edmonton to High River, standing atop the LAV on the right is CPL Cleaver.