Feeling gratitude after a chaotic weekend

If you’ve been watching the news, you may know of the battering that Southern Alberta has taken these past several days as rains caused all kinds of havoc and flooding across the region.

In my home town of Canmore, Alberta, we had more than 120 mm of rain in about a day and a half — close to half of what we normally get in a year. I won’t go into the details, as you can find many images and information on social media and news sites, but I wanted to check in to say that myself and my family are safe and well. Many others in this community (and other Alberta communities) are far worse off than we are, and my heart goes out to all those people who are still picking up the pieces.

By noon Thursday, June 20, bystanders watch as Canmore's Cougar Creek bursts its banks.

By noon Thursday, June 20, bystanders watch helplessly as Canmore’s Cougar Creek — normally a trickle most of the year — bursts its banks.

LINDA COTE-Eagle Terrace-Cougar Creek-June 21

By Friday, June 21 at 6pm, the water had subsided significantly, but crews continued to work furiously to shore up the banks and protect homes and infrastructure.

We were three blocks from the worst of the Cougar Creek flood, but on higher ground, so not in any danger. We had just finished moving into this neighborhood the weekend before, thankfully, because the only paved access road into the neighborhood was wiped out by the flood. (The road in the photos above.)

LINDA COTE-Three Sisters Mountain

View from our neighborhood on Friday around 9 pm, June 21.

By Friday night — Summer Solstice — we all uttered a collective sigh of relief as the skies cleared and the worst of the rain seemed to be behind us.

We have much to be grateful for on this Sunday night: the worst weather is definitely behind us, emergency crews and the Town staff (and too many others to name) have all pulled together to manage the difficulties. The rebuilding is already underway as some of those people evacuated from their homes were allowed to return, and vehicle travel along the highway has partially resumed.

The only inconvenience we are personally facing is that we are on a boil water advisory for the Town, and our neighborhood is still without gas/heat (but it’s promised tomorrow). We can get groceries, clean drinking water, and the weather is much better. Over the last four days, towns people and neighbors have shown an amazing spirit and willingness to help one another.

In the beautiful words of friend and Bluerock Gallery owner, Karen Gimbel, in her email update from weather-challenged Black Diamond in Southern Alberta where the flood also hit hard: “Remember to love each other. These are times that especially call for us to work together and remember that what affects one affects us all.”

Words to live by, in good AND bad times. I hope to be back in touch with you all — and back to the work I love so much — soon.


8 responses to “Feeling gratitude after a chaotic weekend

  1. Linda – Yes indeed we have all been watching closely from the east, and glad that the worst has subsided. Moving, flooding and managing all that you do on a regular daily basis must have felt (does feel?) monumental right now and our thoughts are with you all.

    • Aw, thanks so much. We are doing quite well with all the balls in the air! Thanks for checking in – it means a lot. We see how much we take for granted when it’s not there. Again, our family has had small things to deal with compared to some, but my pre-teen boys jumped for joy to have power after the longest outage of about 6 hours, and are in awe of all the people in the community it takes to keep just one house and its services running smoothly!

    • Thanks for checking in, Deb! I took a break yesterday to look through your beautiful blog posts: your island get away and the gorgeous photos of the pelicans. A balm for the soul! Thanks for your lovely photos!

  2. Linda, it is good to hear that you are safe and your home wasn’t directly effected. Some of the images and stories are pretty mind-boggling. Best wishes to everyone out there – it’s nice to know things are improving.
    Take good care,

    • Thanks so much Karen! Yes, recovery is now well underway. The community has been amazing. Lots of inspiring stories, but lots to take in, too. It still seems a bit mind-boggling to us as well! Appreciate for your kind thoughts,

  3. Glad to hear that you and your family are safe. I was away for the last couple of weeks – just eagerly following the news online and feeling badly for all the damage that people have endured. I’m amazed by the power of water and the damage it can cause so quickly! It is easy to take things for granted when we live where we do.

    • Thanks, Terri! I saw that you were taking a Surface Design course! How exciting! It is something to see the power of water. Today, I drove over the bridge of Cougar Creek – which is how I get to my studio – and the water is back to a trickle. Quite unbelievable!

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