Raising awareness of the current flooding situation, and providing a few links to show where you can help, is important to the community as a whole.
Note that this 'event' is not real; the date is set as June 30, but may be updated to keep it 'alive' for people to read.
Thursday, June 27 9:00am
**DEERFOOT TRAIL CLOSED BETWEEN GLENMORE & PEIGAN TRAIL (BOTH WAYS) FOR FEARS OF A TRAIN FALLING INTO THE BOW, AS BONNYBROOK BRIDGE PARTLY COLLAPSES.
List of businesses offering free services to those in need - http://globalnews.ca/news/669298/calgary-clean-up-a-list-of-businesses-offering-to-help/
Monday June 24, 2013 - 9:00am
People are returning home; check your neighbourhood's status with the City before trying: http://newsroom.calgary.ca/pr/calgary/default.aspx
It may feel that the worst is over; it is... but the cleanup effort will take a long time, and there are still many people who have lost everything. They still need help, so keep the donations going in!
Sunday June 23, 2013 - 2:00pm
I was out today trying to get to my office, and to survey the damage downtown.
It's not that bad in the business core; many streets still cordoned off, several showing clear signs of mud & water having washed over them.
Power was still out through the business core, and later news tells me the East Village, Inglewood & local areas still have some areas closed completely.
The Bow is flowing fast, and very dirty; but it's down to near-normal levels. Driving downtown to gawk at it, will be inconvenient for those who CAN return to work; and there's not that much to see anyway. Walk or bike your way along Memorial Drive, after parking somewhere in the north (north of the river was basically untouched) - don't forget that it's likely business-as-usual for anyone north of the river near Centre Street, so parking will be busy, and will cost you, like any other weekday.
The biggest problem I could see was just south of downtown, trying to go southbound - so many streets between Macleod and Crowchild were blocked off for services draining water & moving mud, it took me a half hour just to get back to 17th & go west, where Crowchild was fine. That seems to be the only route 'south' of downtown.
South of about 36th Ave, where Macleod is closed to northbound traffic, everything looked perfectly fine - where just 10 blocks north, some areas are not yet drained fully, so mud & water cover the streets.
Saturday June 22, 2013 - noon
As most of you know by now, Calgary has been under a State of Local Emergency for the past 2 days due to the worst river flooding in decades.
If you are not aware of the news (if for example, you're out of town & not seeing local news):
Storm fronts from over the mountains, that would normally dissipate over the plains, were held back because of an unusual, very high-pressure system that was held back by "a loop in the jet stream." Because the pressure could not be released as nature normally allows, it built up and eventually broke, releasing massive rains all at once all over Alberta. The sheer volume of water released in a short period of time, overloaded the river systems. Stories are here - http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Firehose+moisture+caused+floods+Calgary/8565050/story.html and http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/06/21/f-alberta-floods.html
The worst is over now, but some areas continue to suffer more damage as water levels settle and move around - it isn't going to just 'drain away' today. It has to go somewhere.
Here is a timeline of the flooding - http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Timeline+Alberta+flooding/8556187/story.html
Much of Alberta has been affected (not just Calgary). High River & other points south of the City, have been devastated (High River is now "closed" - the military has blocked highway entrances to the town). Edmonton is currently under a floodwatch warning.
Map of areas of flooding concerns: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/alberta_flooding_zones/index.html
Local to Calgary:
City Newsroom (Official) - http://newsroom.calgary.ca/pr/calgary/default.aspx
Numbers vary, but 50,000+ people have been evacuated from their homes (and another 100,000+ throughout the province), and as of this morning, it could be several days before many are allowed to return to them. With some areas very badly hit, many people will not be able to return to their homes for weeks. And even then, some homes will not be in any shape to live in again.
The Downtown core is closed; power has been shut off, and it could be the middle of next week before it re-opens. Much of the downtown near the river is under water, as are most tunnels under the railroad tracks along 9th/10th Ave.
Traffic is a disaster. With many road closures and the geography of some neighbourhoods having low-lying areas, there's no guarantee that you can get where you want to be.
Either stay where you are, or allow for significant delays - and then don't be surprised if you simply cannot get there.
The City asked, yesterday, that residents stay home until the flooding lets up. Emergency services are strained past their capacity, and extra traffic on the roads simply delays their necessary work.
Here's a video news report posted about 24hrs ago with a helicopter view of the City - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152915137815526
As the sun comes out today, a little more rain is expected on the weekend, but the City is beginning to return to normal - or as normal as it can be considering the damage done.
Any online search will provide information, photos/videos, and updates - for those not well-versed in Google searching, I provide a link to : http://www.google.ca/search?q=calgary+flood+news&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#q=calgary+flood+news&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=p07&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbs=qdr:d,sbd:1&source=lnt&sa=X&ei=mtjFUdnmKcn0iQL8UQ&ved=0CCEQpwUoAQ&fp=1&biw=1135&bih=989&cad=b&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&sei=XtnFUfTyNKrsigKgu4GABg
*I cannot guarantee this link will work for you correctly, but you can manually search yourself if it does not:
- Search for 'Calgary flood news'
- Filter by 'last 12, or 24 hours'
- Sort 'by date' (reversed) so you should only see the latest information
Wherever you find a news source that you trust, or that has lots of updates, bookmark it!!
If you live anywhere near the river systems, be sure you check online for information before you go out - and only go out if you really need to.
*Reading, and acting on, OLD information, is not advisable. Things have been changing by the minute for the past 48 hours, and while the weather looks nice today, the water will remain for a while.
Many business & services are closed, and may remain closed for days or weeks, due to water damage. Many will simply not be able to re-open, simply because the water is gone.
Repair/maintenance services will be in high demand - for months, probably - so be prepared to just 'deal with' non-critical issues you may be facing.
There can be expected to be a degree of supply disruptions - as the low-lying areas are closed, you won't find fresh food at the closest grocery store; you may not even find anything on the shelves until they can re-open, and re-supply.
If you're in a damage area: stock up on essentials if you can get out shopping this weekend. Don't hoard; that can leave someone else without anything.
As always in a disaster situation; there are many organizations that are looking for volunteers, assistance, donations of supplies, food and cash.
Always use care when donating money. There will (always) be those who prey on anyone they can, and there will undoubtedly be 'fake' organizations willing to take your donation popping up.
This is a decision I've never been fully comfortable with, but you should never give cash to anyone at your door!!! A legitimate organization will have a telephone donation system, or a website with an online donation setup. Giving a stranger cash, or your credit information, both makes you lose money, and more importantly, prevents it from going where it's needed.
Be careful who you donate to - some groups may be legitimate, but cannot really help in this situation. It's still good of you to donate, but if you specifically want to help flood victims, make sure you know who you're giving money to.
If you want to volunteer your aid in any way to the City, here is a sign-up sheet:
The Salvation Army has a page for donations specific for this flooding - https://secure.salvationarmy.ca/registrant/donate.aspx?EventID=1619&LangPref=en-CA&Referrer=direct%2fnone
Facebook groups have been set up to find volunteers, & link to other sites. There are likely dozens, if not hundreds, around now - https://www.facebook.com/CalgaryCleanUp
A group on Kijiji (an online classified/services website) has been set up for volunteers - http://calgary.kijiji.ca/f-community-volunteers-W0QQCatIdZ3QQerrorIdZ1
There will be many, many other websites to check - just be sure you don't get sucked into a scam!
DSN Organizer Mike O has set up a tentative event for this Monday June 24 (http://www.meetup.com/CalgaryDoSomethingNew/events/125859342/) to get people together for a volunteer session. Details NOT YET CONFIRMED, but he will update things on Monday.
This email, is posted as an 'event' in DSN - you can add your comments, links, updates, etc... to the event. Link here - http://www.meetup.com/CalgaryDoSomethingNew/events/125941602/
You should also be able to post photos to the album http://www.meetup.com/CalgaryDoSomethingNew/photos/15650182/
We at DSN hope you are safe & dry; if you have been affected by the flooding, we offer you the best wishes of nearly 3,000 members.