This weekend was surreal. There’s no other way to describe it. I was one of the lucky ones, my home was not evacuated, so for me Friday was simply a rainy day. I was tucked cozily in my living room watching in fascinated horror as the images flashed in on television and twitter over the course of the day, showing the city that I’ve grown up in slowly succumb to the water streaming up and over the river banks.
Unlike most of the population that wanted to help but could only wait for instruction for the most part, I was actually able to do something. I’ve always steered around it, but I actually work for the City of Calgary. My department worked first hand around the clock both Saturday and Sunday, collecting information from the inspectors out in the field, waiting on updates on each individual parcel that had been affected by the flood. The strength and dignity of our own City inspectors who were in the field, some with their own homes underwater but carrying on anyway, will not be lost on me. Like any other Calgarian, I was also blown away by our Mayor this weekend. Nenshi was truly remarkable, and carried citizens through a traumatic time with class and wit. I have no doubt he will be re-elected in the fall. What a hero.
Things will be a little different for me at work the next month or two. Our building is still inaccessible. My department is basically the front line to the public and right now we don’t have anywhere to carry on business as usual. I left my office Thursday evening fully expecting to come back Friday morning. They’re telling us now it could be as much as 8 weeks before we get back in. I mentally inventoried what that means for me. I left an apple in my locker…I don’t even want to know what that’s going to be like. My cacti that I brought in on starting the new position, I hope they make it eight weeks. And my inner fashionista had to cringe just a little – I’m human and female okay? – but the bulk of my high heel collection is also at work. I wear flats heading in and change every day. Damn it. I have four weddings this summer…and an official excuse to go shopping for new shoes now.
Below are a few media images of the carnage. The aerial view of Princes Island Park with the red circle marks the spot where I was planning to go and practice capoeira with my favourite people on Saturday. We did end up going for sushi together though.
And below is my office. I stood on that curb on Thursday around noon, heading over to Lotus on the corner of Macleod and 11th Avenue for lunch. I walked right past Rewind Clothing, where a bunch of my originals are hanging on the walls. I hope Krista, the owner got everything moved off the floor okay.
This is our City. I’ve never felt so strongly united with my fellow Calgarians as I did this weekend, watching everyone group together to offer a hand in any way they could. Calgary strong and Nenshi on. I’m so proud to be a Calgarian.