Albertans step up to help thousands of B.C. flood victims

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.”

Read more: B.C. floods: Abbotsford drops controversial levee plan, will repair dike breaches instead

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.

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“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.”

Read more: ‘Higher costs and delays’: Supply chain disruptions from B.C. storm expected to hit Manitoba

“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.”

Read more: Four people now missing following deadly slide north of Pemberton, B.C.

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.”

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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 NWStarting Friday, 8 am to 8 pm each day

Read more: B.C. floods: Gas to be rationed in some areas, some highways to be essential travel only

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.

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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

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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