What I Saw

High River Alberta Canada

On June 19, 2013 southern Alberta experienced a flash flood that was triggered by several days of rain. Over 100,000 people were displaced and five lost their lives in the unexpected flood. Many residents were caught still sleeping. People reported that their homes were surrounded in water in under twenty minutes. The water had reached depths of over seven feet in the streets in places. The rushing waters moved with enough force to displace the ground under train tracks, lift and twist and flip train tracks over and move buildings. First responders and civilians stepped up to assist people stranded by water. They use trucks, boats and even farm equipment to rescue the ones in need. In the the days following hundreds came from across Canada to volunteer to help with the clean up, restoration, meals, laundry, medical needs but mostly to let Alberta know they were not alone. Resistance in the flooded areas had to wait days into weeks while the water reseeded before they could get access to their homes and find out what they lost. All the while staying with family or in hotels with little more then what they could carry as they escaped to safety as the waters rushed in. Many basements were completely flooded, in some the waters rose well into the main floor of the home as high as the tops of door frames. Families lost their pictures, history, furniture, clothes, kids toys, appliances and food. The waters brought with it soil, debris and sewage, leaving it behind in the streets, yards and in the homes. The people pulled together, helping strangers. Through the frustration, disbelief and tears there was strength and determination.
This is a collection of pictures after the flood. This is the period of the start of restoration, this is what the homeowners saw when they saw their homes again for the first time after being chased out by the flood.

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