High River Flood

In the last week of June 2013, many areas of central/southern Alberta were hit by a disastrous flood. The community of High River was hit especially hard, with over 95% of the population’s businesses and residences being effected by flood damage.

My oldest sister and her family live in High River in the neighbourhood that took the brunt of the damage, the Hampton Hills. While this area of town is not in the flood plain, the rising waters overwhelmed the town’s sewage systems and forced the storm drains to overflow into the neighbourhood. For three weeks, while floodwater in other areas of town receded and residents were able to begin recovery of their homes, the Hampton Hills stood metres deep in sewage. The government threw resources into pumping the water out of this area but the sheer magnitude of this task left residents and officials frustrated with the timeframe required to clear the area.

With tensions high and people barred from their home for weeks without much communication, the government allowed residents to return to assess their homes and salvage what they could. I visited High River to help my sister, her family and friends to get out what we could from their home.