Anyone in Canada, and some people from home, will know that southern Alberta has been hit by horrendous flooding in the past week, and still continuing in some places. My thoughts go out to those who have lost their homes, possesions, pets and in a few very upsetting cases, their lives. Watching footage of homes, roads and more being washed away by devastating waters hit hard during this time as it was very close to home. Literally, right outside the door.
On Thursday, June, 20th we awoke to no power and a slight feeling of amnesia, has our building always been surrounded by this moat?
As you can see above, the building had been surrounded on almost all sides but there was one small area to the top left corner where, once outside, we could cut across the car park, through the other building on the complex and walk over a slighty raised concrete curb to emerage by the road side. On our almost-normal walk to work it became apparant that the town was unaffected and it was only us down by the recreation grounds who were having to wear the waders. This was a relief as it meant not only everyone was safe, but we would find a haven at work (internet, yes!).
After arriving at work, it was about five minutes when we were told a voluntary evacuation was taking place at the building and the Centre would put us up for the night. A member of staff drove us in the camera truck to one of the back roads where we unloaded ourselevs and packed up a few nights worth of clothes and took everything off the floor, as we were on ground level. It was on this journey back that we realised how high the water had risen and started to get a bit worried. The water was almost up to the door of the Buffalo Museum as seen from this stump marker below (taken from the door).
After arriving at work for the second time, it wasn’t long before we were informed that a mandatory evacuation order had been placed on our building by the Fire Marshal and it would be more than just an overnight stay at the Centre. Staff gladly volunteered to drive us all back to pick up some more supplies, but just 60 minutes after the journey before, the entire road leading home had been blocked off. The water was even higher and the entire recreation grounds and road underneath the bridge had been replaced by fast flowing, mirky, brown water. As there was no way in we did what is expected in a crisis and hit up the grocery store swiftly followed by a trip to the liquor depot. It was clear everyone else in the town was doing the same, with nearly all of the fresh produce and dairy shelves empty, almost as barren as the beer shelves in Edinburgh when Scotland play at Murrayfield. Though I am glad to say that Liquor Depot had done well in stocking up and had plenty to offer us in the way of vino.
Here is a photo taken from the building in front of ours as our building was completely cornered off as not only was the water deeper around it, but the transformer had blown and was extremely dangerous. The basement was also completely flooded.
Below, another view of our building (to the left and behind the building in the foreground).
From Thursday through to Monday we stayed at work, who made sure we all had rooms to stay in and that we were fed three times a day for the entirety of our stay. I want to thank all of the staff here who helped us and made sure we were safe and had everything we needed, I am grateful to every single person. The union even made sure to give us food vouchers when we returned home the other night as all of our food had been ruined. Thank you Banff!