Albertans are stepping up to lend a hand to thousands of people in B.C. forced out of their homes due to extreme weather that caused devastating flooding and mudslides.
“We already have a team on the ground in Abbotsford,” said Brent Davis with Samaritan’s Purse. “We’re supporting the city of Abbotsford, specifically through evacuee support and helping the city manage the evacuees.”
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More than 600 people had to leave their homes in Abbotsford, which was drenched by two days of torrential rain and evacuated earlier this week.
The entire province remained under a state of emergency Friday.
Davis said more teams are expected to head to B.C. over the coming days.
“Longer term… as soon as the life-safety phase of this emergency is over… and families are allowed to return to their homes, we have a whole program where we mobilize volunteers within the community and from across the region to help people clean up.”
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“I can’t use that word heartbreaking enough,” Davis said. “Folks that were evacuated as a result of the wildfires over the summer have now been evacuated again as a result of the flooding.”
Samaritan’s Purse is currently asking for cash donations with the opportunity for people to volunteer their time at a later date.
“It’s early, but I can tell you we’re going to be there for a long time,” Davis said. “We’re already talking within our own team and we’re going to be serving well into 2022.”
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In southeast Calgary, donations are being collected by a network of volunteers connected through the messaging platform, Telegram.
“We’ve already gone through a flood of our own,” said volunteer Erica Nagel. “The amount of effort everyone put in is amazing and we have it all in us.”
Nagel said two drop-off locations have been confirmed in Calgary, as well as others in Edmonton. The volunteers are asking for non-perishable food items, toiletries and pet food.
“We don’t know what certain households need, so we’re going to put a bit of everything in each care box,” she explained. “Those who don’t need cat food, for example, can then pass it on locally.”
The two Calgary donation drop-off locations are:
84 Sunlake Close SE – Friday starting at 12:00, Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 7 pm
7347 – 36 Avenue NW – Starting Friday, 8 am to 8 pm each day
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For Albertans concerned about pets affected by the floods, both AARCS and the Meow Foundation said the BC SPCA is currently supporting animals in that province.
“BC SPCA is a large and amazing organization,” Debbie Nelson with the Meow Foundation said. “If we receive any direct requests, we will certainly do our best to lend a hand.”
A local sports team is also stepping up to help another baseball club recover from the devastation in B.C.
The Okotoks Dawgs have donated $2,000 to help the Abbotsford Cardinals rebuild.
The Cards said they’ve lost their facility and more than $100,000 worth of turf, cages and equipment.
The Dawgs said it’s a tough reminder of the floods Alberta experienced in 2013 and they know the healing role that sports can play.
With files from Cami Kepke
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