I know I've been a tad behind on the blog (mainly due to work) but there is another reason as well. As you've no doubt heard, parts of Fort McMurray have been inundated rising flood water this past week. This played havoc with my internet connection apparently as its been a tad spotty the past week. So I apologize in advance if this post seems like I'm all over the place.
I managed to get some much-needed yard work taken care of last Friday....and then it started to rain. From last Friday until this past Monday it rained. Actually, that's putting it mildly as it was down right intense at times and to add insult to injury, the wind also picked up rather strongly at times. Most of what I know comes from word of mouth as I've had little time to follow the news, but apparently in that 72-hour period parts of our region were hit with as much as 180mm of rain. The past couple days have been a mix of sun and cloud and I awoke at 3am this morning to light drizzle so I am hopeful that in terms of rain least, the worst is now behind us.
Anyhow, I can assure everyone wondering that I am perfectly sound. Sadly, there are people in our community who aren't. I found out late this afternoon that one young kid I work with had his room flooded out down in Grayling Terrace. Mandatory evacuations are in place. Ironically, I had hoped to take a hike last weekend along the Hangingstone River, the very body of water that has been the source of all this turmoil. The Hangingstone is a meandering river that empties into the Athabasca River via the Clearwater and from what I understand the erosion along its banks is a real threat now. Grayling Terrace and parts of Waterways have been inundated as were a trailer park, Keyano College, and our Heritage Park. (I heard at work that there is as much as 3 or 4 feet of water in the area of the Heritage Park and you could easily go for a swim.) I had to take a good hard look at many of the photos I've seen to even recognize where exactly they were taken. A washed out bridge south of town also made access to a couple oil sands projects a real headache.
I spent a lot of time the past few days counting my blessings. When I moved here 3 years ago, it was a choice between my home in Thickwood or down in Waterways. While I had a couple patches of soggy lawn, this pales in comparison to what some other residents are dealing with. One thing I've learned about this community though, is that it has always faced challenges and its has always overcome them.
Photos, as well as the efforts of stem the tide can be found courtesy of fellow local bloggers here
and here. I will endeavour to do an update here in the coming days.