I got an oil change today, which is the natural thing to do when your city is flooding. As I drove over the bridge to the dealership, I was shocked to see the normally mild and gentle Fish creek, which I usually don't even notice, racing beneath me, far too close to the bridge for my comfort. The fact that there was a bridge separating me from home did not stray far from my thoughts the entire time I was having that oil change.
I've been heeding official pleas to stay the hell out of the way, so my only views of the devastation wrought by the raging Bow and Elbow rivers have been via a screen, on Twitter, on Facebook, on newsfeeds. Still even our safe and dry enclave has pockets of flooding. The normally docile Fish Creek, although not churning and roaring like its bigger, meaner brothers, has swollen to ten times its normal size. I don't imagine that bridge in Fish Creek Park will be there very long.
The rivers crested today. Still, 27 neighbourhoods in my city have been evacuated, close to 100,000 people displaced. This situation is not going to be cleared up overnight.
The downtown core is in darkness tonight, the power having been turned off. Water lapped at the corners of the building in which I work and seeped into the basement, threatening the rare instruments housed there. Many of the animals at the zoo have been relocated and, in a bright note in an otherwise grim day, we learned that the contingency plan for the big cats is to relocate them to holding cells in the court house. The Stampede grounds, set to be filled with rides, fried everything and thousands of people in a mere two weeks, was instead filled with water. The iconic Saddledome has water up to the 10th row of seats. I watched a heartbreaking video of a giant tree along Memorial Drive bending over, slowly and gracefully, until it snapped and was washed away by the raging river. Bridges have been breached and road closures are too numerous to count.
But at least the rain finally stopped. Let's see what happens during Day 3 of the flood.