Monday, June 24, 2013

Calgary Flood: Surveying the Damage

I had no idea the flooding was so severe until I went down to Elbow Park to help out. I was shocked at the destruction. That evening we took the kids out to Crescent Heights to look at the flooding from a higher vantage point. Several news outlets had their broadcast teams set up on the ridge as well, and lots of people walking around.

Down below in Sunnyside the damp streets were loaded with cars -- likely from the people who had come to the neighbourhood to help muck out basements and carry refuse to the curb. Even the house that were well back from the river had been affected, as ground water and/or an overwhelmed sewer system had filled their basements with water as well.

Further along, there was a large section missing from the river pathway along Memorial Drive and a backhoe was furiously heaving loads of big rocks to help secure the riverbank. Out in the middle of the river, a large proportion of Prince's Island was still submerged, with the trees and bushes listing dramatically downstream.

The extent of the damage was somewhat lost on the kids, but Scott was impressed by the scale of the cleanup effort and the presence of so much heavy machinery. He has seen footage from the news about the flood so he understands that there was a lot of destruction. However, he quickly identifies a silver lining for him -- there is considerable opportunity to through driftwood branches off the Center Street Bridge into the water below... and climb on rocks.

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