B.C. lends hand to flood-stricken Alberta
The Red Cross has raised $5.4 million in personal and corporation donations
As communities in southern Alberta begin cleanup efforts, British Columbians are doing what they can to lend a hand to victims of last week's massive floods.
City of Vancouver 311 operators are offering to take calls from their swamped Calgary counterparts, while BC Hydro crews are on standby to help restore power to parts of southern Alberta.
Members of the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Unit were dispatched to the Calgary flood zone Monday morning from Abbotsford, Terrace, Kelowna and Prince George. The teams will provide emergency personnel as well as meal services for displaced victims of the flood.
In some other cases, small gestures have gone a long way.
In Kelowna, dog trainer Brad Pattison put out a plea for blankets and dog food.
"Within 24 hours, we had accumulated close to 5,000, 6,000 pounds of supplies to start moving to Calgary," said Pattison, who started delivering pet supplies to communities outside Calgary's city centre on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross has set up a backup call centre to assist in taking donations from across Canada. So far, more than $5.4 million in personal and corporation donations has been raised.
"Now water is receding and the real work really starts to happen," said Red Cross spokeswoman LiseAnne Pierce. "So although there's folks in shelters, people are starting to go home and the cleanup is beginning."
How you can help
For those who still want to help out, a number of organizations are accepting donations.
The Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Response is accepting financial donations. Call 1-800-418-1111.
Canadians can also donate to the Salvation Army Alberta Flood Relief Effort at the website or call 1-800-725-2769.
Samaritan's Purse Canada says it will need volunteers to help in the cleanup and recovery of flooded homes. As well, people can donate money. Call 1-800-663-6500.
The Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre is also seeking various goods and supplies including socks, underwear, hygiene supplies, bug spray, blankets and pillows, towels and plungers. The centre is also looking for volunteers and donations. Call 403-699-8260.