Saturday, June 15, 2013

Angry Rivers, Floods and a Muddy Aftermath

It's still pretty soggy and miserable weather here but some good signs are in evidence as many of the residents who were evacuated from their homes have been allowed to return.  I have no idea how many sand bags have been filled by fellow Fort McMurrayites the past few days but the number reached its limit earlier today and the actual filling up sand bags has wound down....hopefully for good.

I headed down to the Sport and Wellness Centre at Keyano to do what I could.  As you can see from the pictures here, it was pretty gloomy and volunteers were pelted with a bit more rain.  It amazing to see residents both young and old and local businesses and organizations all pitching in to help.  (On a weird side note, I was approached by a burly guy in a biker jacket who noticed the big Nunavut flag on the front of my sweater and came up to shake my hand, telling me he had spent a few years working up their as well.  Small world.)

Our poor Heritage Park took quite a hit.  The grounds are now one big muddy mess.  I must admit that as a bit of a history nerd, I have a real soft spot for this place.  For a place that is falsely portrayed as nothing more than a boom town, Fort McMurray has a vibrant history.  For a community of its size, its done an admirable job of preserving historical structures.  I really hope this flood doesn't mark the end of its season.

The source of it all.  The Hangingstone River is still rather high but falling.  I've never seen it flowing this fast before.

Crew continue to work on reinforcing the river bank to prevent further erosion.  This was about as close to the flood zone as I felt it was wise to get.  I'm sure people have enough to keep them busy without a blogger with a camera wandering around down there.

What we really need now is a few good days of sun and clear skies.

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