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*UPDATE June 26* The hardest hit communities all have coordinated responses at ground level. Visit those locations for real time need. The City of Calgary is picking up debris left in front of homes (and they’re doing it quite efficiently). We will close update in another post of upcoming needs as most of the teardown is complete.*

*UPDATE June 24* The city has requested volunteers. Meet at McMahon Stadium 10AM-2PM today. 18 and older.*

*UPDATE June 22* Please add your community specific events in the comment section. Some residents permitted to return, most still waiting.***

The largest flood in recent memory struck Calgary overnight as the Bow and Elbow rivers swelled. Nearly 75,000 people have been evacuated from their homes while power and gas were shut off. All affected areas are nearly underwater. Downtown has flooded from Sunnyside to 17th ave sw.

Today (Friday), first responders are out in full force, including the army, to continue evacuation. As soon as the notice of trouble began Calgarians began their outpouring of support.

Here are some important tips that will continually be updated to guide you in effective response during and after the flood.

  • Given the size of our city the need for volunteers to directly help affected areas while waters are still high is nil. We have professional help on the front lines. For now, the best response is in your neighborhood and for people you know. THAT MEANS STAY IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOODS AND OFF THE ROADS!
  • Note travel issues: Calgary Transit. STAY OFF ROAD WAYS. Major arteries are either flooded or completely backed up. North South routes in city are backed up or closed. Deerfoot is closed in many locations. Try 52nd on East side and Stoney on West.
  • Continue monitoring primary sources of information. Trust only @calgarypolice and @cityofcalgary for your latest updates. City of website is down, check for news.
  • Right now (and more importantly when the waters recede) the need to develop a LOCALIZED response in the neighbourhood is high. Look first to friends and friends of friends who may be affected. Offer assistance in the form of: shelter, food, a washing machine, clothing, communication. Be ready to help in the ensuing weeks for cleanup.
  • Quality of water remains high but we don’t know for how long. Fill up some additional containers at home. Reduce water usagae.
  • **UPDATES***

  • If you live near (walking distance is best) to one of the main emergency shelters, they could use things to keep folks (kids) occupied. All staffed by City workers and others.

    Check city blog site for current availability. Many communities returning home.

    • Acadia Recreation Complex, 240 90 Ave. SE
    • Village Square Leisure Centre, 2623 56 St. NE
    • South Fish Creek Recreation Complex, 100 333 Shawville Blvd. SE
    • Central Memorial High School, 5111 21 St. SW
    • William Aberhart High School, 3009 Morley Tr. NW
    • St. Francis High School, 877 Northmount Dr. NW
    • Southland Leisure Centre, 2000 Southland Dr. SW
    • Centre Street Church, 3900 2 St. NE. This is a registration facility only, no overnight accommodation is provided at this facility.

  • Water levels are STILL rising. Damns are at FULL capacity. Take caution around river banks. STill many people out observing TOO CLOSE.
  • Emergency shelters like the DI, who were relocated, ARE in need of assistance for clothing materials. Here is one response underway at First Assembly, in the NE NeighborLink is a drop off location 3751 21 St NE. Neighborlink is the primary drop off point for gifts in kind, contact 403-669-1073 or 403-998-4502 for specific needs.
  • Excellent updated list of current needs of major organizations: Volunteer Calgary
  • Agencies such as the Red Cross are well stocked with materials. The Red Cross does NOT accept in-kind donations, like clothing, food or water. Best way to help is through financial donations.
  • Twitterverse has an ongoing hashtag for those looking for specific needs/helps @ #YYCHelps
  • Monitor development of community based responses. Try and
  • Continue monitoring affected areas:
    View Calgary Floods in a larger map
  • Keep on top of local media: CBC, Global, Herald.
  • If you wish to volunteer in other small towns with support/cleanup of the #abfloods should call 866-628-6565
  • Citizens may not have much to do during the state of emergency, however, extensive damage means EXTENSIVE CLEANUP. Prepare to help over the ensuing weeks. There are acute needs today, but the longterm affects for affected homes will require assistance from the community.

Please consider posting your community related activity that’s addressing cleanup and volunteering options.