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State of Emergency – Calgary Flood 2013

Hey everyone I’m back.  The loss of the internet due to the flooding + our following camping trip = a lapse in blog posts.


The flooding in Southern Alberta has been a really surreal experience.  Jeff + I were extremely lucky in Black Diamond, since our condo is up on higher ground.  So many thousands have had their lives turned upside down.

It all started on Wednesday night on June 19th.  It’s bizarre because as I was writing a blog post that night, the winds + rains were raging outside as I typed.  “My god, is this storm normal for Alberta?!” I thought to myself.  I was scared – as a Los Angeles native unaccustomed to weather, the torrential downpour outside was really freaking me out!  And no, it was definitely not the norm in Alberta.

The next day as I drove into the next town (Okotoks) a radio siren warning interrupted a happy country song.  I’ve never heard a siren warning on the radio before, so you can imagine how alarming it was!  The message declared a state of emergency + notified residents of a sour gas leak in our neighboring Turner Valley.  “Stay inside!!!!” the radio warned!!!

Devastation was ripping apart the communities of Southern Alberta as the flooding waters were unstoppable.  Jeff had gone to work that morning + the ministry ordered that production stop + all cast + crew evacuated.  Jeff had the hindsight to fill up the bathtub with water + ordered me to buy lots of bottled water.  Lo + behold, that afternoon a mandatory water restriction was placed, which is still in effect as of today.  Water Restriction

Oh yeah, + our power was out, but we were lucky, it was only for one day.  What was there to do with only two candles + one flashlight?  SLEEP!!!  Jeff + Megu were exhausted.IMG_4898

The next day we checked out the damage in our little town of Black Diamond.  Streets were muddy + blocked off.State of Emergency

The city trenched out the road at the bridge leading to Turner Valley to divert the water from causing more damage.  The bridge is still out + we haven’t been to Turner Valley since the flooding.  The asphalt at the gas station near the bridge was buckled from the strength of the river’s currents.State of Emergency

The local grocery store + many other businesses were shut down.  Sand bags were everywhere.  It was like a ghost town.State of Emergency

We traveled up a little closer towards the other bridge leading to Turner Valley.  Alberta Energy Regulator was monitoring for sour gas leaks before they were called off to a different part of town that was reporting a sour smell.State of Emergency

The bridge had been completely wiped out.  The Sheep River was raging + as we stood above watching, chunks of the road were eroding into the hungry river.State of Emergency

The Canadian Armed Forces have been deployed in hard hit areas to aid in evacuations + assisting RCMP.  Here I caught some of them in Okotoks.State of Emergency

If you haven’t seen any footage of the Southern Alberta flooding, here is a video:

And you must click on this link to check out a good collection of photos from the National Post of the flooding – especially because of the pictures of Kevan Yeats who’s truck was sinking in the water – his cat Momo was in the truck + Kevan is desperately swimming to save Momo. There’s also photos of Kevan giving Momo lots of love, all fluffy, dry + happy.

Jeff + I were very, very fortunate throughout this whole terrible turn of events.  Mudslides, sewage + agricultural runoff, unbelievable damage to homes that are irreversible.  It’s so heartbreaking.  It’s going to take a long time for Southern Alberta to recover.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ahhh, glad to hear you’re okay girl! Funny that you really got to experience it all during your first Canadian summer eh? Haha! And cute little Megu is still sleeping happily…

    July 9, 2013
    • Thanks! I know – what a shock it’s been!!! Yes, Megu is happy, loved + protected from the elements!!!

      July 9, 2013
  2. kenneth Papi~Dads nishino #

    WOW, U guy’s were lucky, Nan,…thank goodness U
    live on higher ground, and glad 2 hear Jeff, made it
    home from the Set, unfortunately quite a few folks
    weren’t as lucky!!!!! terrific pix of Jeff & Meg’s, let’s
    hope perps in Calgary are getting their lives back 2
    normal…take care, lets pray 4 folks in need of help!!!
    cheers, luv U, Dad’s

    July 9, 2013
    • Yeah + the producers wanted to keep shooting, until the government told them to shut it down!!! I know, thank god they made it out of there in time!!! The set was washed out!!! Yes, let’s say a prayer!!!

      July 9, 2013
  3. rocky nishino #

    Hi Shel, Jeff and Megumi,
    Thank you for writing this blog and I was waiting to hear from you.

    I am so thankful that you are all safe now. The rescue of the Momo-chan was amazing. I am so happy that Kevan and Momo are safe. My heart goes out to the people of Kenmore.


    July 9, 2013
    • Thanks, mom!!!! Thank you for all your prayers!!!!! We are all happy + doing well!!! Miss you!

      July 11, 2013
  4. Scary business. So glad you’re all OK! I understand it’s Toronto’s turn now. What did Canada do to piss off the weather gods?

    July 11, 2013
  5. Didn’t I tell you that Alberta has the worse weather? C.R.A.Z.Y You’re right, it’ll take months to recover…..just in time for the blizzards. Glad to hear you guys are safe and sound.

    July 12, 2013

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