Flooding in Alberta, Canada prompts people to evacuate homes

An estimated of 10,000 residents have been evacuated in Medicine Hat, a city in Southeast Alberta, Canada, after authorities have declared a state of emergency and predicted the South Saskatchewan River to reach its peak on Monday morning.

This action was taken by local authorities following the evacuation of 65,000 residents in Calgary, where the city is still under water after the Bow and Elbow Rivers overflowed.

Canada.com reports that officials will close The Maple Avenue Bridge and Findlay Bridge on Sunday. If the Trans-Canada Highway Bridge needed to be closed, they will place emergency teams on either side of the river because the city’s north and south portions will be cut off.

Officials expect the deluge to eclipse the flood in 1995, which is the city’s biggest on record.

Residents, businesses and officials are preparing for the said flood by placing sand bags around buildings and leaving their homes.

Meanwhile, the evacuees in Calgary were allowed to return home on Sunday to assess the damage from Friday’s flooding.

Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi gave strict orders to residents about what to watch out for and reminded them to put safety first.

Nenshi advised residents to turn around if streets were still flooded and not to enter their house if water is splashed over electrical outlets.

Much of Calgary, including the 19,000-seater Saddledome, is still drowned in floodwater. The recent deluge, which took at least 3 lives, was also the heaviest flooding the city had witnessed in decades.

Floodwater surges through downtown Calgary on June 22, 2013, in Alberta, Canada. Photo by Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press, via AP (courtesy of http://www.usatoday.com)

Floodwater surges through downtown Calgary on June 22, 2013, in Alberta, Canada. Photo by Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press, via AP (courtesy of http://www.usatoday.com)

Canada has been battered by great floods this week but we know the affected areas will soon rebuild itself. Destroyed homes will be repaired, broken spirits due to the tragedy will soon heal.

What’s hard to replace, however, are blood products.

With unpredictable degree of damage each natural calamity can give us, we have to be prepared in advance. But preparedness is not solely measured in readying sandbags or hoarding foods and water at homes. Sometimes, we have to think about our social responsibility in the community. Example of this is assuring that our hospitals and the local blood banks have enough blood supplies on shelves.

How can we perform our moral social obligation? Simple. By donating blood in advance. If weather forecasts warned us of an upcoming storm, we can roll up our sleeves before the early signs of bad weather plague our city.

In this way, if people needed blood at the height of storms, medical help will be provided because blood products are readily available.

Click here for Basic Rescue Skills important for survival.

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