Crashing Waves

This past week(end) has felt so long. So much has happened. Such emotional upheaval and at the same time such gratitude. I guess that is probably the way it is with all things in life but at times like these, it’s more intense.

The best memories began on wednesday when we as Kindergarten moms had a lovely tea in the most beautiful home ever!!! I am serious. We were just so happy to know one another and all of us got along. It was really pleasant.

The next day was Kindergarten Grad. It was short and sweet and the children were real wonderful. Why are kids so photogenic? All of them are. But since I don’t have permission to post those pictures you are stuck with my favourite.

Image

Then later that day was the evacuation. Our neighbourhood wasn’t immediately on the evacuation list so we just worried for others. We had a “record flood” in 2005, which ironically happened at the same time as my eldest kindergarten graduation, so most expected it to be have the same way it did 8 years ago. We all believed it could happen so 99.9% of people listened to the evacuations. But no one except maybe the farmers almanac could have predicted something like this happening

42 avenue at Stanley Park

I was awakened by sirens and helicopters as well as birds at around 4:00am it seemed like all the birds that were in calgary ended up in my back yard. Then the email came saying “it’s bad. it’s really bad. 9 times worse than before.”

That morning, once the sun came up, and knowing that we were in an emergency state, I thought it would be wise to go get gas. So I went. It was so weird. Police were everywhere blocking off roads and yet no one seemed to be aware of how bad it was. I ended up having to go the long way around which brought me past the above picture and led me to the next couple.

East Elbow, Right along the river

East Elbow

I then decided I should find out how the School faired. Last time it wasn’t even touched. This time however…

The Kids School

I saw a teacher today, and you didn’t hear it from me, but rumour has it that some teachers bushwhacked their way to the school to see how bad it was. There are desks floating in the basement and lower wall caved in. Our poor school won’t even be touched till all the homes are taken care of. I am not sure if it will even be ready for september. :(

There were two other neighbourhoods that I couldn’t even get in. The water was too deep and too fast.

Roxboro

I have some video as well but I’m not able to bring it up now.

This was only 3 of the 27 neighbourhoods affected. 100,000 people displaced. For the past 2 days we have been working to get the water out of basements. We have been tossing almost everything. I’ve been to busy to go around and take pictures of all the workers and post devastation clean up, but it is unreal. I think today I saw the worst I have ever seen and yet through the tears of the owner, there were some cheery moments. There were smiles, but we are only on day 2. Ask me how it is when we are on day 9 or 10.

Oh and that most beautiful house I have ever seen… where we had out mum tea… now has scaffolding in it and bracing because it is so damaged. The trades were still working on finishing the house when we were there on wednesday. New house not even finished. Ugh. And of our Kindergarten graduating class, over 50% have damaged homes or were evacuated. Lots of trauma for the littles.

I have heard stories of wonderful help and generosity, and stories of terrible loss. Last night, as I was coming home from a 100 mile relay I did on saturday (another post for another day), I found out one of our friends (My husbands groomsman) died while helping his neighbours stem off the flood waters. I am so sad about this and yet comforted. I am finding helping others helps me to be distracted from my own loss.

There is still so much more to do. My husband is currently down there wading through basements and pulling memories out. It’s tough all around.

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3 thoughts on “Crashing Waves

  1. Hi Al….my greatest and deepest condolences for all your loss and that of your loved ones. I only hope wonderful moments of humanity emerge and help heal the wounded souls. Many, many hugs from many, many miles away. oxoxoxoxoxo

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