Weather we like it or not . . .

Most of you have likely heard of the unprecedented flooding in Calgary, Alberta, last week. over 95,000 people were evacuated and quite a few are still not able to return to their homes. The majority of homes were flooded enough to require the removal of furniture, appliances, carpeting, drywall, possessions and more . . . It was the worst flood in Alberta in history and has been declared a disaster.

Nearby towns were also affected, including High River, where all the residents were told to evacuate, although over a hundred refused, which meant that a few people had to be rescued later for various reasons. We’ve been watching the news daily, as we have relatives (not close ones) living there.

Several First Nations reserves were completely flooded, too, with all residents being evacuated and many will lose their homes. A hard time for most people in the southern province. On the positive side, people in Calgary came together with a great show of team spirit; after some residents were allowed back into their homes and were busy discarding furnishings, carpet, belongings, etc., some people were walking around offering their help where needed. A couple of food places were providing free food to victims and rescuers alike. Lots of Canadian Forces personnel were deployed to help in the search and rescue efforts and off-duty policement went in droves, too, riding along with Calgary officers so that some could take time to sleep, etc. All in all, a good show of true humanity.

Sometimes I think we need a hard time once in a while, just because it gives us the chance to express our true selves in ways we often minimize. The mayor of Calgary set a great example, working long hours, communicating well and often; you could see he was pretty tired, but he was always cheerful and full of praise for everyone.

We had rain steadily that week, but only a little flooding and a flood warning for the river valley, where the banks overflowed in a fewe places. The usual idiots were stupid enough to go out on the river in a canoe, an inflatable raft and an inflatable mattress; this, in spite of having been warned not to go in the water or even go near the banks, which were undercut severely in places. The water was moving very fast, carrying trees and other debris. In some places, people were wading into the water so their friends could snap photos of them ‘in the flood’ . . .

There was flooding in western BC, too, but I didn’t catch any coverage of it on tv.

I have some pictures from that week, a brief sunny interlude and others taken last week as well, followed by a few of the sunset last night, which was spectacular. Bear with me . . . I’m practising my new skill of creating slideshows . . .  😉

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17 thoughts on “Weather we like it or not . . .

  1. Yes, I have heard the news and can certainly sympathize, Linne, having survived Katrina. Survival is the operative word, though I wish we didn’t have to suffer in order to learn how fortunate we are to be alive. ❤

    • I remember you saying you’d been through Katrina; I can barely imagine what that must have been like! One thing I hope many are learning from all this is to have a functional survival kit in the house, another in the office, one in the car and one in a pocket. I’ve never completed an entire kit, but when we lived in Victoria (BC), we had quite a few things in one spot in the house, just in case. Vancouver Island is near where two tectonic plates are locked and pushing against each other; that area has been due for a humoungous quake for some time. The best estimate given is ‘within the next 200 years’, though, so many people don’t take the possibility seriously. But I had a sister-in-law who wrote an excellent book on earthquake preparedness. I also bought two copies of the SAS survival book; one pocket sized, the other larger; the big one I kept in a couple of ziploc bags with the main supplies. The small one I meant to keep in my truck, but then I moved and stuff went on happening and I sorta got off track. I found that little book recently and am now planning a new kit.

      You know, Stacy, I do think we can learn these things willingly and skip the suffering, but I think most of us are still immature enough to not do something until we have to. We’re really big kids in many ways.

      There have been so many disasters in the past three weeks, it’s hard to take it all in. I’m thinking of the plane crash in San Francisco, California and the oil train derailment in Lac Megantic, Quebec. I find myself waiting to hear what’s next . . . And as I watch the news each day, I’m reminded to be grateful for being alive, as you say, and for all that I do have. In many ways, I’ve been very lucky all my life and still am.

      • I am astounded, too, by all of the tragedies in the news lately. One can only prepare so much, though. We always had our hurricane supplies (generator, bottled water, batteries, canned food, etc.) and our hurricane boxes that we evacuated with – but all of our supplies flooded along with everything else! So….as I said, one can only prepare so much.

        Did you ever see the Marigold Hotel movie? I love that movie – they say “All will be well in then end. If all is not well, then it’s not the end.” 🙂

      • You are so right about ‘one can only prepare so much’. That must have been devastating, having your survival stuff flood! The mind boggles.
        I haven’t seen that movie; will have to see if I can find it. And I’m stealing part of that line for my blog post (soon if possible, tomorrow otherwise).

  2. Those clouds in the pictures are hard to imagine! We kept seeing stories about the flooding on the news – so sad but how wonderful that the community pulled together so well.

    • I expect the clouds over Calgary were worse! Don’t know if you all get news from Canada, but yesterday Toronto, Ontario was hit badly; in two hours they received more than a month’s worth of rain!! A double-decker rapid transit train got stuck in a flooded area; water was up to several feet on the lower level in some cars and a couple of little water snakes got in and were swimming happily around; I laughed so hard!! I’ve always been interested in snakes and taught myself how to identify various species when I was in high school in my early teens. And no, please do NOT send me photos of your snakes and ask me what they are . . . all that knowledge is buried deep in the vaults under a strong lock and key! But, anyway, I could hear some of the passengers squealing and I thought “if only I’d been there” . . . what fun! Not fun being stuck in the floodwaters, though; some passengers were standing on their seats with water up to their waists for several hours, it sounded like. On one of the freeways, the Don Valley Parkway, a few cars were seen floating! But it’s been sad for people who found themselves with six feet of water in their basement within 20 minutes or so.

      Our sky is very dark now and we’re expecting another round of lightning, thunder and deluge . . . Yesterday some of that weather hit south of the river (the North Saskatchewan, which divides Edmonton into North and South).

      The times, they are definitely a’changin’ . . .

      You know, Cathi, I also love how people pull together when the chips are down, but I’ve always wondered why we rarely put ourselves out to do the same when things are going well. What a great world that will be, eh?

  3. It was the same here when we had the Christchurch earthquakes, there seemed to be a huge community spirit right through the country as everyone rallied to do what they could. Unfortunately it takes such a long time to recover from these disasters and 3 years down the line the city is still in a state of disrepair and alot of people are still really struggling but everyone else has moved on.
    Now I saw on the news last night that Arizona has that awful fire that killed 20 firefighters, how terrible for that town.

    • I do remember the Christchurch quakes; we are overdue for some of those or worse on our coast any time from last century into the next 200 years. This timeline means that many people don’t take it seriously and keep survival kits handy. We always had at least some of a kit on hand when I lived there, and I would if I live there again.

      I missed the news last night, will have to catch it later today. That fire sounds dreadful. I have a sister and BIL who live in New Mexico and she said they’ve had drought conditions for a couple of years now. Similar to Australia, I expect. Hope you’re doing ok in NZ so far as nature goes.

      • We’re very fortunate here, however do get the odd smaller tornado now which has only been happening the last few years. Christchurch is Roger’s home town and just 3 hours drive from here. We have since been a bit more survival focussed!

  4. Idiots wade in where angels fear to tread…my son has a theory about that (so do most insurance companies 😉 ) that idiots are just doing what nature intended. Most of them are young men and nature doesn’t need all those young men ;). I feel somewhat guilty pressing “like” when some of those images showed the full extent of the deluge that was being dumped on Calgary. Amazing photos Linnie and kudos again on the slideshows. I use images as paragraph breaks for my monologues so I can’t use slideshows or everyone would go blind trying to read all of my post 😉

    • I know what you mean, Narfie7! In our family, it’s known as ‘cleaning out the gene pool’. Right up there with the Darwin Awards fools.

      Those pictures are all from this building, though. I think what they got further south was even worse. Lots of pictures online still, I think. Amazing to see a big city with water on all the streets. I feel I’m pretty in touch with nature from living out in the bush so much of my life, and a fair bit of it under canvas, one way and another. I find that city people expect things to be controlled and orderly, not to mention not inconvenient . . . a rude awakening is coming for many, I think.

      I like how you use your photos to break things up and did consider it, but it was faster to put those pictures together in a slideshow. I do wish I could upload more than one at a time, though . . . all that clicking through folders and all . . .

      I learned how to delay post, too! This is the first one I’ve done. I had time earlier, but am meeting up with two friends (separately) today, so wasn’t sure I’d be able to manage. Time just gets away on me . . . but now I can copy you and work on a post when it’s convenient. Glad you mentioned delayed posting way back when.

    • I figured it out! Never worry about the spelling. I turned spellcheck off in the beginning as I have NO patience with it and with it trying to force me to write what I don’t want to write!! So you’ll find typos from me, too. 😉

  5. The show f spiris sounds very much like what happened in Brisbane last year – severe (2nd worst in recorded history) flooding but a show of humanity that just blew everyone away. There must be something about us Commonwealth countries, daughters of the Empire with that great comradeship and mateship, helping a fallen brother (or sister) and getting stuck in to help when and where needed. Here’s hoping the idiots stop creating more work for the already overtaxed rescue workers and that the rain ceases soon for you all.

    • Yes, I think it’s part of that heritage, too and one of the better things about humans. I almost think we need a disaster here and there, just to get us over our own self-importance and “it’s all about me” thinking. Not that I enjoy them any more than the rest of the world . . .

      • I know exactly what you mean. It’s almost like a disaster is a reset button for our best characteristics.I wish there was a better way to hit reset.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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