Edmontonians offer homes, donations to flooded south Alberta
City of Edmonton staff spent hours this weekend, packing bags full of sand and gravel. While some of the sandbags are being used to shore up low-lying areas of the city, the vast majority are destined for part of southern Alberta.
"It's just absolutely tragic. People are on the edge of their seat wondering if their relatives are ok. And they want to help in any way that they can," said Heather McCallum with Edmonton Emergency Relief Services.
Ten thousand sandbags were sent to parts of southern Alberta hit hardest by the flooding.
Edmontonians looked for other ways to help people affected by the floods.
Some, like Leslie Kessler and her boyfriend David Breitkreuz, have gone as far as to open their homes to evacuees forced out by the rising water
"I'm pretty sure that if it happened to us that they would do the same thing for us," Kessler said.
"We've gone through some hard times in the past and we've had a lot of people help us out in the past. And we have the space, we have the facilities and the capabilities and the caring to open up our homes."
Offers like the couple’s have been pouring in from all over the city.
Officials from the Red Cross say there are simpler ways Edmontonians can help their fellow Albertans in the south.
Red Cross spokeswoman Kristie Harcourt says financial donations are the prefered way, as it is easier to handle and distribute than donated clothing and goods.
She says it’s also important to make sure people aren’t spreading incorrect information during a crisis.
"I think that one of they ways they can help is by making sure that the information, if they're sharing information on social media, making sure that it's accurate."
Many organizations are taking donations and other aid for people affected by the floods. They include:
The Non-Government Organization Council has established a toll free line hosted by Samaritans Purse for Albertans who want to volunteer. They can call 1-266-628-6565.
The Canadian Red Cross is responding to flood evacuees across Alberta. Financial donations can be made to the Canadian Red Cross by 1-800-418-1111.
Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society has begun collecting blankets, new pillows, towels and unopened toiletries.