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Calgary Devastated by Worst Floods Since 1930; Christians Reach Out to Victims

( [email protected] ) Jun 25, 2013 09:19 AM EDT
Calgary floods in Alberta, Canada, have caused the evacuation of 75,000 homes, the city's downtown core and many of its landmarks are submerged under water; The Salvation Army in British Columbia has deployed 4 Crisis Response Units to assist those in need with food and emergency supplies and to aid in the recovery process.
A mud-covered exercise bike sits outside a home as residents clean up after floods in Calgary, Alberta June 25, 2013. Canada's oil capital, Calgary, started the slow process of cleaning up its downtown on Tuesday in the aftermath of record-breaking floods, with many business owners returning for the first time to properties they were forced to leave last week. REUTERS/Andy Clark

Calgary floods in Alberta, Canada, have caused the evacuation of 75,000 homes, the city's downtown core and many of its landmarks are submerged under water; The Salvation Army in British Columbia has deployed 4 Crisis Response Units to assist those in need with food and emergency supplies and to aid in the recovery process.

Flooding in Alberta is not uncommon as the rivers in the great prairie can suddenly swell up and spill over the banks, especially during June when the snow in the mountains melt. The CBC reporter, who has covered floods there before and has followed this story for five days, said he is surprised at the level of flooding. The last time it flooded like this was in 1930.

Building were evacuated and thousands of homes are flooded; many are allowed to go back home, but for many the loss is great. Evacuation orders for most homes across Calgary have been lifted, while Alberta Premier Alison Redford has warned the provincial cleanup effort could take up to 10 years.

The premier announced that the province had approved a $1-billion preliminary emergency fund to deal with the funding, according to CBC. Part of that will be for "cash cards" for residents who have not been able to return home yet. That funding will start to be handed out in the next week or two, she said.

The four units deployed from British Columbia is staged at Glenmore Temple (located at: 921 68th Avenue SW); teams of experienced volunteers and staff are on site to provide support and aid as long as services are required, according to The Salvation Army British Columbia.

Patricia Cuff, BC Divisional Director of Public Relations and Development went on to say, "The Salvation Army as in many disasters will continue to serve on the ground while there is an active need. We will be there to assist individuals and families and meet their basic needs."

As with many buildings in Calgary, The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope was flooded and faced mandatory evacuation. All of the facility’s 400 residents have been appropriately relocated. The Agape Hospice was also evacuated and residents successfully relocated.

At the evacuation centre in the community of Blackie to the South of Calgary, Army personnel and volunteers have been supplying meals and spiritual and emotional care to residents who were evacuated from nearby High River.

There is a growing concern in Medicine Hat, as waters have flooded the downtown area. 10,000 people in the community have been evacuated. Salvation Army personnel are at the evacuation centre providing food, clothing and arranging for accommodations. The Salvation Army shelter in Medicine Hat has been evacuated, including 18 residents and staff.

Over the weekend, in the worst flooded areas of downtown Calgary, Salvation Army personnel served over 500 meals to people who were unable to evacuate their apartments.

Donations can be made online by visiting www.SalvationArmy.ca, by calling 1‐800‐SAL‐ARMY (725‐2769), or via mail to The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON M4H 1P4.

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