For those unaware, Calgary (and several other cities/towns in Alberta) has suffered some major flooding.
Our home was spared as were most of our families/friends' homes, and I feel blessed because of that.
But, I can't help feeling overwhelming sorrow for the people who were evacuated from their homes (around 75,000-100,000 were evacuated) only to return to find their homes and basements devastated by the water. They will have to spend so much time, effort and money to fix the mess. But, they've also lost so many sentimental possessions and my heart breaks for them.
I'm feeling sorrow for the city in general. How much time and money will be spent to rebuild bridges and LRT tracks, to fix the Stampede grounds and the Saddledome for upcoming events, to ensure businesses downtown can get back up and running?
The other overwhelming emotion I've been feeling the last couple of days, however, is awe. I have seen so much heartfelt giving by those around me and I can't contain the emotion.
When 600 volunteers were asked for this morning, 7,000 people showed up.
Some donation centers are having to put a halt on people donating because there is simply not room to store it all.
Communities have organized relief efforts.
Facebook groups have been created to keep people updated and to ensure word gets out for volunteer opportunities.
I have seen so much giving, so much banding together to help our neighbors. It has made me want to be a better person, to be more like the people I see around me. Not just during disaster situations, but everyday of my life.
And for that, I'm feeling grateful.
In case you haven't seen, here are some pictures of the city:
Stampede grounds. This is where they do the rodeo, chuck wagon races and the Grandstand show. Under water.
Some of the damage that'll have to be fixed.
Homes and cars ruined.
This shows how high the river was. This is the Peace Bridge, a foot bridge that goes downtown. Typically, the water is 15-20 feet below the bridge and here it looks maybe 5 feet? Less?
Inside the Saddledome. They said that it was flooded up to the 10th row. This is where the Flames play and where a lot of concerts and shows are performed during Stampede.
A look at Downtown Calgary. Derek wasn't able to go into work today, and it doesn't look good for him for the rest of the week.
Some of the damage. Houses with the decks torn off, and this is just the outside. You know the damage gets worse inside.
If you could keep these Calgarians in your thoughts and prayers, I'm sure they'd appreciate it. And, I'll do my part around here to help with some of the more physical things!