It has now been four days since we declared a local state of emergency. I was sitting in Audit Committee on Thursday morning when John Mar left the room to go enact the order declaring the emergency. By 1:00 that afternoon, three hours later, we began evacuating people.
It has been a long four days that have had incredible highs and terrible lows. While my home has not been affected, 100,000 Calgarians have had to leave their homes, many with the risk and fear of losing their possessions.
And throughout, people have persevered, have worked together to help each other and to help our city.
On Friday I toured the evacuation centres and we were still dealing with up to 100,000 being forced out of their homes. It was amazing to go to the Southland Leisure Centre, which had been closed to the public and set up as a reception centre, and see city staff from every department working to welcome people who were on the verge of losing everything. City employees who normally work as lifeguards, inspectors or managers were there, welcoming people from the rain, serving meals and making beds.
But it wasn't just city staff. The offers of help just flowed in! Concerned citizens from across the city showed up with muffins for the volunteers and toys for the kids. A new Calgarian, who has only lived here for a month, showed up to blow and tie balloons for the children. People responded to a tweet from me seeking kids books by showing up within 30 minutes with a veritable library! Calgarians offered their homes, but overwhelmingly, they offered their hearts.
That first day coming to grips with a tenth of our population being forced out of their homes, was an uplifting day amongst all the tragedy. It was a day that we re-affirmed, as a city, that no matter what, no matter who we are, no matter where we are from, we are all Calgarians.
I couldn't have been prouder.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.