Jun 25, 2013

The Flood

This past week in Southern Alberta has been surreal. I've always felt so fortunate to live in a city like Calgary. A place where I feel insulated from natural disasters or any sort of social instability. We're safe here. Always. We enjoy beautiful weather, breathtaking scenery and at worst a bad snow storm from time to time. We're always ok. 

But this past weekend, we weren't ok. The weather didn't ease up like it usually does. Our rivers surged 4 times stronger than our last devastating flood in 2005. While our house is thankfully far away from any rivers, parts of our city and surrounding towns were devastated. My mom and Beppe (Friesian for grandma) were in High River, arguably the most ravaged area of our province (pictured above), when the floods hit. My mom was reading at the local coffee shop on main street when she was told to evacuate the town (main street pictured below, an hour after my mom left). They were evacuated promptly and today, five days later, the town remains completely evacuated of residents and filled to the brim with emergency and military personel. It is literally shut down, with no running water, sewage or electricity. It remains submerged in water, further damaging all structures caught in its swell. 

My brother and sister were also evacuated from their neighbourhood in Calgary, but were thankfully allowed back on Sunday to a home untouched by flood waters. For a couple nights, our home served as a little refugee camp of sorts. We spent the nights together as family, hanging on newscasters' words as they described a flood beyond our geographical comprehension.

Lincoln and Roman exploring the river on a walk just after the floods. This used to be one of the parks we frequented. It is now buried in river water and unrecognizable.  This is some of the milder damage caused. 

Thankfully, the waters eventually did stop surging further and further into the city. And while the city does remain in a local state of emergency, the waters are at least receding. As for High River, the town remains in limbo. The mayor today called the event completely disastrous. That said, we can be thankful we were all able to escape the flood waters as they surged in and that we were able to weather the storm together as a family. We are praying that High River recovers sooner rather than later, so that my Mom, Beppe and so many others can return as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, we are all trying to help where we can. This city, and province for that matter, is incredible. The outpouring of support and camaraderie among citizens is palpable. I remain incredibly grateful to live where I do, and hope for a quick and full recovery for this beautiful province of ours. 


  1. Wow. Beautiful post, Carli. I can't believe those pictures! I'm so glad that you guys are safe but so horrified for the rest of the city. How surreal. I'll be praying that the promises of our Solid Rock ring true in your family's hearts this week. I bet they are finding lots of rest and comfort in your lovely home, so glad you get to host them. Thanks for taking the time to update!

  2. I'm glad you are safe!
    :) Liz @ www.rusticpeach.com


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