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Monday, 1 July 2013

YYC Floods...weekend washout!

(sorry for the delay in posting. I have had trouble publishing this...and well writing much of late)
Last Wednesday I blogged about being excited about my FIRST trail half. Well, not really a half...since is was 25km. Rundle's Revenge was gonna hurt, be tough, but a huge step for me. And an awesome training run for Sinister 7 Ultra (a relay in which I am doing the first 2 legs!) this weekend...

Thursday I went to to work, and by 8pm everything changed.

Canmore was flooded. Ravaged by floodwaters. Communities all around the City were underwater. High River - a town of 12,000 people 37 km (23 miles) south of Calgary was evacuated. THE WHOLE TOWN!  It was insanity.

Thursday at work our manager started careening throughout the store asking each of us where we lived. Depending on the answer, some of us were promptly sent home. To EVACUATE. Jesus.

Not me. I lived a couple communities away from the first two waves of evacuations and areas beginning to flood. I was certain my area would have no impact. Then I left work at 8 pm. I was pissing rain. No not just raining. PISSING. Torrential. Rain. ugh. (I normally walk home, but the policeman standing on the corner near the train platform told me my paths were all barricaded. The only way accross river was the train...really???????) As I rode the train across the river, my heart sank. Holy shit. This river was HIGH. not just fast and furious. As in foreboding and holy shit serious about flooding the the community between the river and me was going to flood. Unheard of....

It was so dark out...and power was being shut off in two neighbouring communities ... and WHAM. No power. Odd. But I took it as a sign to go to bed. And As i checked the twitter feeds, another community was being evad'd. And at 1130 I woke up to choppers flying overhead  and could hear them announcing the evacuation of West Hillhurst. Um. That is ME. WTF???? I live on an uphill section. WHAT? I cannot be evacuating now. So I get out of bed. Fo out of my condo. Where a neighbour has just come from speaking to a Policeman posted down the street. He said, we were were on standby for evac. And that we were a couple blocks up from the evac border. WHEW.

Back to bed I go.

I wake at 530. Barely Slept. So worried. I still had no power. It was soo grey outside. I got work clothes together and walked the 15 minutes it takes to get to the main bridge (10 St Bridge - one of the FEW not shut in the past 24 hours ... so surreal). I get to the bridge and the water is noticeably higher. LIKE a few feet higher and lapping up onto the road. FRACK! I do not think I am going to work. But I haven't got an email or call...and then I hear. Do NOT go down-town. OK. So i snap a few pics. Of my pathway areas and of the neighbourhood jsut 10-15 minutes from where I live.

  (you may not see all the damage in these pics....but if you have seen me post pics of my runs in my ' might see how HIGH this water is....) Howzabout this lovely before and after?

And speak to the officers manning the blockades stopping traffic from entering my part of the city.And I walk back thru Sunnyside and then Kensington to home. NO one is on these streets. All power is out. Sky is GREY. You really can hear the thunder of the river behind me. As it fades, I hear a chopper above. And then a disembodied voice saying:

"Stay away from the water. Stay off the pathway. Do NOT go near the water. Water levels are rapidly rising. GO NORTH. Evacuate this area immediately. GO NORTH. STAY AWAY from the water. You will drown if you get in the river"

HOLY SHIT. I sort of lose it. And well. Start running home. And crying. And as melodramatic and silly as it sounds I was really freaked out.
A pal sent me this which was a small part of DT Calgary
in the early morning

And well then I threw a bunch of clothes into a couple bags and drive a few hours northeast to my parents. At this point I know of a few dozen friends and a few family members evac'd. No point staying anywhere where i am so close. Plus I need to get this GD long run Go North indeed.

And well be without much on the internet front (since being at my parents is bloody prehistoric!) While at home alone in my parents house, and hangin at my sisters...i barely watch TV. Watching makes me so upset and watching the areas i live in, stay in  hang in all being massively flooded is awful. Watching people lose thier houses makes me cry. I feel sick. I feel well like I cannot cope. So instead I tune out for a few days and so some short runs. And one long one. And only do 16 instead of 25 on the trails. But it felt good. And it got me going. but something is sort of amiss. I have lost a bit of mojo. Its like depression is creeping in. God knows why. I am good. I have a home, no damage....But so many are so devastated. What can I even begin to do to help....

About 5 days later we are allowed to go back into Downtown area  - but only a quarter of the area has power. Still reeling. This whole bit has been surreal. But my city and the wonderful peeps in it are strong. We will clean up our neighbourhoods. Completely rebuild some of them. And stay strong. I am glad to be back home and when I am not working will be looking to help out in my areas and others for some volunteer work!

So...for a good recap (and to truly show you the devastation that occurred) here is a video of some of the wicked damage done to the city and surrounding areas.

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