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Calgary Flooding & Social Media
Calgary, High River, Medicine Hat, and Canmore are under siege by a devastating flood. Over 100,000 Calgarians and local Albertan’s have been evacuated from our homes – myself and many of my friends and colleagues included. It has been a heartbreaking and devastating day as people watch their homes literally wash away.
The Calgary social media community throughout Alberta has risen together via twitter, Facebook, and Instagram sharing news and latest updates on evacuation areas, where to donate food/goods, and road closures using #yycflood.
Additionally, the hashtag #yychelps is being used for those in need of a place to stay. Craigslist and Kijiji community ads are offering homes for people and pets. Online is being used to supplement or share news of communities banding together.
I spent the night in preparation for a flood evacuation alert. It was amazing to have friends and neighbors band together to move belongings, vehicles, and offer homes and safe places to stay. My company officially closed for work and yet over 40 different colleagues send office wide emails out welcoming colleagues into their homes. It is so heartwarming how this city has banded together. However, the damage is yet to be determined as the Bow River has still not fully surged. The community will be called upon to step up and support each other as insurance coverage to flood victims is to be determined.
The scariest thing about being added to the evacuation area over night was the loss of electricity and thus no access to news other than my mobile phone and twitter. As my iphone battery slowly drained throughout the morning, it was scary to realize access to information was disappearing.
This horrible situation emphasizes just how important social media has become in sharing news and helping create connections.
Social Media & #yycflood
Calgarians Coming Together Via Social Media:
#yycflood Facts Found via Social Media:
How You Can Help
Stay away from all water ways and off road ways if you don’t need to travel.
Continue to RT and share news of road closures to help spread the word.
I urge you to donate through your time, dollars, or supplies via social media or in person. The Red Cross is an amazing medium to do so: text REDCROSS to 30333 (on Telus) to donate $5 or online here.
Thoughts and best wishes to everyone affected. I’m very thankful to live in such an amazing city. Also I am very thankful for all of the check-ins on my safety. Thank you to the police, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses (including some very close friends), and many others working around the clock to help those in need.
Local Photos & Videos of #yycflood
Calgary Downtown Flooding
Saddledome and Stampede Park filled with Water:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper Addressing Calgarians