I live in Calgary, Alberta.
I’ve lived here my entire life. I am a true blue Calgarian. It is the only place I’ve ever known, it is the only place I would like to be.
Over the last week we have been experiencing very heavy rain for multiple days in a row. That with the spring runoff from our beautiful Rocky Mountains and ground that was already soggy ground and high rivers and sometime Thursday the banks overflowed and on Friday we were put into a State of Emergency. We, as well as Okotoks, High River, Canmore, Parts of Banff, Eckshaw, Turner Valley, Parts of Millarville, Black Diamond and most recently Medicine Hat.
Luckily for us, we live in a very high part of the city and were very safe. However, we had many friends who were evacuated from their homes. We had some who will be cleaning up flooded basements for quite a while. Some who have lost their homes, all possessions, and businesses. It broke my heart.
This is our Elbow River. This is a bridge my brother worked on – it was just recently re done.
Unfortunately, this is the same bridge later on – the full affect of water.
Here is part of our down town. People have to throw out so much and many have to remove furniture, rugs, drywall and take their basements/homes down to the studs to get rid of the damage.
My brother lives in the downtown and gradually they where shutting it down, closing roads in and out. At one point he only had one road to leave the downtown with, if he needed to evacuate. I was stressed all evening waiting to hear if he would be leaving or not, if he was safe (I know his place is on the 4th floor and water wasn’t rising to that level – but I was still concerned), where was he, did he have power (they were shutting down power), was he able to get out, did he have enough groceries. It was just too much – I texted him often to check up on him – I probably was getting annoying. I just don’t care either. He is ok by the way. He didn’t end up being evacuated, he had enough groceries, and he was safe.
I have been so impressed by the city and the people here. When the city began to reopen and volunteers were called for, the organizers said they needed a few hundred and thousands showed up to help. We are even hearing stories that people from other cities, towns, even provinces are coming to help. Offering to pump out people’s homes for free, bringing their shovels out and helping neighbors and even strangers shovel the mud from their homes. We have an amazing fleet of food trucks in our city who have been driving around feeding the evacuees and volunteers. People have been paying for other people’s groceries and some businesses are even giving out gift cards to their stores so people can buy supplies. I heard of one grocery store in Black Diamond who, even though he was effected, is giving out groceries to anyone who needs them.
I would really like to help with the efforts, but with a new little one it won’t be so easy to volunteer on the front lines.
The question then became – what could I do? It seems the quilting community has banded together and will be donating quilts to the victims of the flooding. A group has been set up called Quilting for Calgary on Facebook and they have been organizing this initiative. Traditional Pastimes has been making up kits for people to pick up and make and then return to the store. Or they invite you to join them at the store to either piece quilt tops or cut kits. At My Sewing Room they are hosting a Quilting Bee to put together quilt tops, but are also taking fabric donations to be used in the quilts. Or you can drop off finished quilts to My Sewing Room and they will distribute them. There are long arm quilters donating their time and talent to complete the quilt tops.
That is something I can do – I can put together a quilt for someone. That is a starting point at least. A small thing I could do for now.