It’s amazing how a natural disaster can bring a population together.
In the case of the wide-scale flooding that affected several communities in southern Alberta, most notably High River and Calgary, the population in question is that of the entire province of Alberta.
In times like these, the worst of times, it seems the best in people comes to light. It starts with the front-line workers, the first responders, EMS, RCMP, and fire services that were the first on scene to help out with rescues, evacuations and provide any other necessary assistance.
While it is the job of these professionals to respond to crises and keep us safe, it should not diminish their bravery and their high level of performance under such tremendous stress. Albertans should be proud to have such hardworking and dedicated professionals in their communities.
Not just the communities of High River and Calgary either. With half of southern Alberta fighting to stay above water and the other half waiting to see if it too would be submerged, resources were spread thin and needed to be pulled from elsewhere. Residents from both Blackfalds and Lacombe should know that their communities were quick to answer that call. Lacombe Fire Department responded with a boat to ferry stranded victims to safety and Mustang Helicopters dispatched aircraft to assist with rescue, reconnaissance and even now is continuing to aid with cleanup efforts.
Heck, even the Alberta government has done its part in this crisis by pledging $1 billion to go towards cleanup efforts. Cleanup efforts that Premier Alison Redford said could take decades to complete.
Yes, it will indeed take time to rebuild all that was lost in the greatest flood in Alberta’s history, but it can be done. That is why it is important for Alberta to continue to stay bonded by this crisis and work together to help those affected get back on their feet. Such a feat should not be difficult, as it is unlikely that any Albertan is not in some way connected to someone affected by these floods, if they were not affected themselves.
People have already begun to do what they can and the response has been nothing short of magnificent.
Some shelters in Calgary serving those displaced by the flooding have had to turn away donations of blankets due to having too much and several organizations, businesses and even individuals have reached deep into their pockets to provide funding for cleanup and relief.
It is also important, at times like these, not to lose faith and drown in despair. Some residents of the Sunnyside neighbourhood in Calgary have the right idea, joking about how they can now boast owning “waterfront property.”
And it is important to remember that things will get better. We can rebuild. And we can make it even better than before