#yycflood: Community Coming Together


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Calgary Flooding & Social Media

Photo Courtesy of Phil Crozier of photophilcro.com

Photo Courtesy of Phil Crozier of photophilcro.com

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:

  • High of 16,000 #yycflood tweets an hour this morning at 11am.
  • Trending at approximately 6,500 tweets/hour over the last 24 hours on twitter
  • 1000+ have joined a group called “Help Calgary Flood Victims” on Facebook
  • 400+ people have signed up for Calgary Flood Clean Up event on Facebook
  • 132 different Kijiji ads offering homes or volunteer clean up help
  • #yycflood Facts Found via Social Media:

  • Saddledom is filled with water up to row 10
  • 3x as much water as the 2005 flood; that flood = $400 Million in damanges
  • 100,000 evacuated; only 1,500 needed shelter. Fellow Calgarians stepped up
  • 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

    Photo courtesy of @esther_madziya via Edmonton Journam

    Photo courtesy of @esther_madziya via Edmonton Journam

    Saddledome and Stampede Park filled with Water:

    Photo Courtesy of: Stuart Dryden/Calgary Sun/AMI Agency

    Photo Courtesy of: Stuart Dryden/Calgary Sun/AMI Agency

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper Addressing Calgarians

    Photo Courtesy of Chris Stiff this afternoon at the Emergency Management Agency

    Photo Courtesy of Chris Stiff this afternoon at the Emergency Management Agency

    Chelsea Newton
    Chelsea is known as a dynamic and engaging talent consultant and professional speaker. As a Certified Executive Coach, she is extremely passionate about helping people realize both their goals and full potential. Chelsea has worked in 12 countries around the world helping Fortune 500 companies recruit, train, develop, and motivate top talent using cutting edge communication techniques and social media. She is currently developing top talent in the oil sands and speaking across Canada as the founder of Talent Formula.

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