Watching Alberta's floods from afar
Former Calgarian and new CBC Calgary anchor followed with disbelief as disaster unfolded on social media
I experienced the flood from a very different perspective. It wasn’t as a Calgarian (at least one living in Calgary). I was sitting in what was my British Columbia home in late June, watching television news in disbelief as river waters rose to devastating levels in and around my hometown.
Alberta Flood: 100 Days Later
CBC News has special coverage planned for Thursday and Friday as we look back at the first 100 days since the June flood, including more on soil and water testing from High River.
We will have features on CBC Radio One, our local television news and an interactive online website.
Our supper-hour host Rosa Marchitelli will anchor CBC News Calgary from High River on Friday.
CBC's Ian Hanomansing will also broadcast part of The National from southern Alberta.
In our world of smartphones and social media, the images were fast and plentiful.
Then came the hectic calls to family and friends.
“Are you okay?”
“Is the house flooded?”
“What the heck is happening there?”
Incredible stories surfaced in the coming days. Strangers helping strangers, tales of emergency workers turned heros and, of course, Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi front and centre as the face and voice of reason among the chaos.
There he was on national TV calling out the less-than-logical folks who thought it was a good idea to float down the bloated Bow just days after the flood.
"I can't believe I actually have to say this, but I'm going to say it. The river is closed. You cannot boat on the river. I have a large number of nouns that I can use to describe the people I saw in a canoe on the Bow River today. I am not allowed to use any of them. I can tell you, however, that I have been told that despite the state of local emergency, I'm not allowed to invoke the Darwin Law.”
My co-anchor Rob Brown and I — along with a team of CBC journalists — have been working to document the collective memory of those caught in the flood as they recount the first 48 hours and how that experience changed the way they think and live.
The interviews are part of a special that airs this Friday, called Alberta Flood: 100 Days Later.
The special coverage goes all day on radio and online at cbc.ca/calgary. Our television news team will also have extensive coverage including live reports from some of the areas still working to recover on the local CBC television news starting at 5 p.m. MT