Calgary

Alberta flood anniversary: Some still dealing with trauma 2 years later

The Calgary Counselling Centre says it has provided counselling for more than 800 people since the 2013 flood that caused widespread damage in southern Alberta, and some are still dealing with trauma.

'Especially this month, every time it rains, you know, you get jittery'

About 60 per cent of High River was under water when the Highwood River rushed over its banks in June 2013. Norma Meneses remembers it well, and the stress from the disaster remains. (Canadian Press/CBC)

This weekend marks the second anniversary of the 2013 flood that uprooted thousands of lives in southern Alberta.

Alberta floods: 2 years later

The Calgary Counselling Centre says since then it has provided counselling for more than 800 people, and some are still dealing with trauma.

When rain falls outside Norma Meneses's home in High River she has a hard time keeping calm. 

IN-DEPTH COVERAGE | Alberta Flood 2013

"Especially this month, every time it rains, you know, you get jittery," she said. 

She and her husband, both seniors, were forced out of their house by the flood that caused havoc in the community.

Their basement flooded, ruining years worth of memories. 

Meneses says the days passed, then months, but the stress didn't leave. Instead, it started taking a toll on her mentally and physically.

'I'm slowly getting better'

"Aches and pains that came out, and when I went to the doctor he says it's all due to stress because of the trauma we went through," she said.

Meneses sought help from the Calgary Counselling Centre.

"For seniors, they wouldn't expect to be dealing with this kind of trauma and natural disaster at this stage of their life, so the loss for seniors, I think, is even made bigger," said Robbie Babins-Wagner, the centre's executive director

Meneses says she will continue to get counselling.

​"I'm slowly getting there," she said. "It's been very helpful."

With files from CBC's Terri Trembath

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