Events that had been planned for this park were moved to another. Like all Canada Day venues, it was packed. I wondered how many had just walked out of silt-filled basements and said, “Enough! Time to celebrate!”
On Tuesday, Bill and I drove to Morley, a nearby First Nations reserve hard hit by the flood. There, like other nearby reserves, roads and bridges were washed out and people were isolated. Wells and cisterns were ruined. We had gathered baby supplies, groceries and cleaning supplies from Hillhurst United and the Calgary Women in Black peace group. The emergency headquarters is in the beautiful high school. There, small children play, people of all ages sort donations, organize and direct volunteers. We met a cheerful Mike Gord from Kapuskasing, Ont., one of about 300 Red Cross volunteers from across Canada who have come to help.
Last week, a feature article in Alberta Views magazine arrived in our mailbox. In “Safeguarding the Source,” Kevin Van Tighem warns that we must better care for the headwaters of rivers. Providentially written and published prior to the big flood, the story covers the effects of forestry practices, damming, clear-cutting, off-road vehicles and more. “Downstream water-users complain of increasingly intense spring floods and more frequent summer droughts,” Van Tighem writes. “[These are] signs of a sick watershed.”
I see this flood, like the last Calgary flood, as a warning. In the biblical story, humans had disobeyed God’s laws. In today’s story, we have done the same thing. Call them the laws of Nature if you prefer, but I hope that we take heed.
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