After devastating floods at the end of June in southern Alberta, the rebuilding process has begun. Communities in Alberta South are starting to clean up and restore. The generosity and compassion that has been displayed throughout this time of crisis truly reflect the strength and spirit of Alberta South, both within Stantec and in the larger community.
A word from one of our staff, Clayton Dunford, who volunteered for clean up:
July 9th, 2013 was a life altering day for me. It was the day I went to High River with over 20 other Stantec employees from all Calgary offices. We headed down to see what we could do to help... I don't think any of us were prepared for what we saw. I know most of us have seen images on the news or in the papers, but actually being there is a completely different story. Train tracks that look more like roller coaster rides, boats up in trees, silt half way up building fronts, endless rows of BFI bins piled high with debris can be seen throughout the streets, accompanied by plies of trash, furniture, soaking wet drywall, insulation and carpet that were equally as high. Different colored signage on the resident’s windows were highly visible from our bus, "need water, need power, need volunteers...", and the list goes on. I could not imagine what the residents must be going through, the emotional and physical exhaustion they must be feeling would be overwhelming.
We got a chance to help out a family whose basement was completely submerged in water, sewage, silt and who knows what else. We busted up tile, ripped out carpet and pulled out all the basement windows; we cleared the yard of any debris that we could move. The images of items that were scattered across the yard are still burned in my head, wedding albums destroyed, children's toys covered in who knows what, family photos in shattered frames, mold cover furniture... much of what they had is gone.
When we finished I felt good about what we had done but I could not help but think about all that is left to do...so much left to do! We left to go catch our bus back to the Rodeo Grounds (headquarters for volunteers) but before we did I walked over to father of the home owner, shook his hand wished him well and asked him if there was anything else we could do before we left, he looked up at me and said " we did too much already and that he could not possibly ask us to do anything more", he squeezed my hand a little tighter and choked back a tear, my heart sank as I walked away. We only worked there for a few hours, they have been at it for days and will continue for many more.
After a long hard afternoon headed back to Calgary, I started thinking about heading back out again, doing some more, I just felt like I didn't do enough. That's where anyone reading this comes in. There is so much to do there, and we can help. If you would like to join me on another venture out to High River for a day please let me know, I'm trying to get as many people as I can. Let's get out there and show our support!!
When we finished I felt good about what we had done but I could not help but think about all that is left to do