Torrential rains causing intense floods devastated and displaced thousands of Canadians in the province of Alberta in June 2013 and the Southern parts of the province suffered the most devastation. The effects of the devastation are still lingering.
Alberta is Canada’s fourth largest province with a population of 3,645,257 people and a land totaling 661,190 square kilometres rich in oil and minerals. Alberta became a province in 1905 and was named after Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter. Edmonton is the province’s capital city, whereas Calgary is the province’s largest and business city. The vast majority of the province’s population lives in these two cities.
Scientist assert that a high-speed torrent of air called “the jet stream” has caused the overwhelming floods which has ravaged the lives and well being of many Albertans. The jet stream is defined as “fast following, narrow air currents found in the atmospheres of some planets, including earth”.
The province received heavy rainfalls triggering catastrophic, unprecedented floods in the province’s history, according to the provincial government’s statement.
The rains washed the snow away and made the province’s major rivers burst their banks. “Rain on snow is a miserable thing because it washes the snow away; your problems are that much worse,” said a Canadian meteorologist named Dan Kulak.
The floods claimed the lives of four people and as many as 100,000 residents were driven out of their homes. In addition to the demise and displacements, thousands of Albertans are faced with a grim reality when it comes to their future and if they will ever be able to recover from the damage done by the ravaging floods. For instance, homeowners with no flood insurance are left with heavy financial burdens, because they cannot get all they need for cleaning up or rebuilding their homes and replacing their belongings.
Aside from destroying and damaging lives, the floods have also brought about economic and environmental impact in the province. The damage done by the floods is estimated to be between $3 billion and $5 billion and some of the province’s landscapes have been vastly altered.
The southern Albertans have been reassured. The flood victims have received both heartening and financial support from their country. Canadian officials at different levels came to the flood ravaged areas and closely toured the southern part of the province to assess the damages caused by the floods.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the province’s Premier Alison Redford and Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi simultaneously toured the devastated areas of the province and spoke to the flood victims, assuring them immediate assistances.
Premier Alison Redford has promised an initial $1 billion to kick-start recovery from the devastating floods. Similarly, the federal government promised it would help the flooded communities to its utmost. “Ottawa will “be there to help” Calgary and other southern Alberta communities recover from massive flooding in the region,” said the former Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
Canadians from all walks of life, in addition to the governments’ aid, came to the help of their fellow citizens and donated generously. People donated money, housing, goods, medical supplies, etc. Hence, the flood victims have felt warmth and got assurance from their compatriots and government.
Canada is known to be the land of lakes and rivers and is ranked to be the second country which holds the largest amounts of water, according to the global water resources. As a result, and when heavy rains fall, the Canadian rivers burst their banks and bring about insurmountable devastations.
Now, nonetheless, plans and strategies aimed at minimizing flood effects in the future are in the works, and the Canadian government is committed to safeguarding its citizens against any probable dangers; but the effects of the distressing floods that Albertans witnessed in June are still there.