This Spring, we invited community members to submit their stories and memories to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the 2013 flooding in Calgary. Thank you Sabrina, Leigh, and Val for sharing your memories with the community!
Sabrina & Leigh
“We lived near the Bownesian during the flood and I remember my husband, Leigh, and I driving home from my work and hearing on the radio that Bowness had to evacuate. We were in disbelief.
We quickly made our way home and packed up our pets, a cat and dog, and a few days of clothing. It was unnerving to see so many cars leaving our neighbourhood, full of belongings. We spent a few nights at a hotel, our days spent running the dog and watching the river get higher and higher. We were lucky in that we were able to afford a hotel, many weren’t and ended up separated from their beloved pets.
As exciting and scary as this was, though, this wasn’t what stood out for us. It was after. After the water receded, after the roads opened up, we saw the damage done to people’s home. We were fortunate, our house was far enough away that our stuff was ok. But others, not so much.
But then we watched something amazing happen. People started to help others clean up. Help them find stuff that may have gone missing, drain water, clear debris. This is what stands out, the community coming together to help each other. It was awe inspiring and humbling. It’s one of the many reasons why, ten years later, we still call Bowness home.”
“Since the City of Calgary website was still showing our house as being outside the evacuation zone on Bow Village Crescent (and I was checking it constantly) my husband and I chose to stay in our home. With two large dogs, it seemed the best decision.
We did pack an emergency evacuation kit though, just in case. At that point, we were oblivious to the fact that Bow Crescent was underwater.
At around 10:15 pm on that June 20th evening, a SWAT team officer came to our door and said that we should leave, and that we would have to be taken out in their vehicle. They picked up our dogs and put them in the SWAT vehicle. Unfortunately, they had to leave us at Bowness Road and 66th, as they had to continue evacuating people.
We had to call our friend, an elderly lady in Silver Springs, and ask her to pick us up. She had already agreed that we could stay with her. Not many people would make that offer to a couple with two dogs!
She drove down from Silver Springs and wasn’t able to cross the 85th Street bridge. Then she tried to come in from Montgomery but was turned back. We had just about given up hope when she finally appeared – in her nightie! This sweet lady let us stay with her for a week.
We are so grateful to all the volunteers who came out in droves to help with the clean-up on Bow Crescent in the weeks that followed. The City really stepped up also.”