Residents of flood-ravaged Bragg Creek, Alta., have headed back home to start the massive cleanup.

The Alberta hamlet, which about 45 kilometres southwest of Calgary, had a large number of homes and businesses severely impacted by the flood.

When the water started to rise, resident Laurel Frezell and her family had three minutes to flee their home.

She says they lost everything. But Frezell says the volunteers who have turned out to help have reminded her why she lives in the community.

"God has placed millions of angels here for us. I think that's what he did. So, we'll just rebuild, we’ll rebuild. We're going to rebuild and we're going to stay here forever."

Air Bouphasiry, the chef and owner of Infusion Contemporary Cuisine, says volunteers and friends have really come out to help him pick up the pieces at his restaurant.

Bouphasiry says that when he realized something was wrong there was already three feet of water inside the building.

"Maybe about two hours later, I get seven foot of water, break the door right through, all the furniture — the fridge, the stove, everything — just washed out into the street."

Rocky View Councillor Liz Breakey says the community is going to put together a reconstruction team for the hamlet.

"Rethink things, redesign things, make people safe."

Breakey says infrastructure should be redesigned to make the hamlet safer.

The Alberta Treasury Branch is accepting donations for the Bragg Creek Relief Fund.