This week I sat riveted at my computer, watching as Calgary (in Alberta Canada), along with several towns surrounding Calgary, were devastated by a massive flood. Basically the mountainous area to the west of Calgary received a lot of rain and it all funneled downhill and into Calgary.
I realize that there are a lot of other devastating natural disasters all over the world but this one hit especially close to home for me because many of my friends live in Calgary (and my inlaws live relatively close). Some of those friends were forced to evacuate when water destroyed their neighborhoods. I’m also additionally impacted because the same storm system moved east and flooded the city where my parents live (which caused a panicked call to me at one point in the evening), and a different rain system flooded part of the city I live (although I saw almost not rain in the area of the city that I live in). So it was a wet week for Western Canada.
So my “reading” this week has really been all about looking at pictures and videos and first-hand accounts of the disaster:
- Photos and videos of the Alberta flood. I’ve been to some of these places and my friends live here. It’s weird to think that they have to now try to salvage what they can and rebuild. Although I’ve seen many pictures of natural disasters elsewhere, it all seems so much more “real” when you’ve been there and when you think that could be your friend who is being rescued by a boat.
- Why is there so much rain?. This is a great article by a meteorologist about the climate “event” that spawned this flood. But while reading this article, I realized: The flood hit Alberta but all that water has to go somewhere. So I did a lot of reading this week about watershed. So interesting! There are communities to the east of Calgary that are now preparing for flooding because of the water they are expecting to get as the flood moves east. I also live east of Calgary but I believe the watershed system redirects north somewhere in between Calgary and Winnipeg, so I should be okay but I’m particularly sensitive to water damage because of a previous basement flooding experience. And there’s more rain in the forecast!
- Political response to the Brazil protests. I realize that there are many other places in the world that are facing change — whether ecological or social! Another area of the world that has captured my attention right now is Brazil, which is facing a massive riot. The riot was triggered by an increase in bus fees… but that was just the catalyst. Other problems (political, economic, social) are being raised. Would we in Canada or the US ever rise up like this? I sometimes feel like we need some big changes.
- How long is the runway in Fast and Furious 6?. This is a bit off topic from natural disasters but this article was a great read. It analyzed the climactic scene in Fast and Furious 6 and highlighted a humorous “goof” in the premise that surrounds this scene.
To my friends in Calgary: Stay safe and dry!