The Alberta Floods: How We Lost Everything We Owned

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

You may have heard about the Alberta (Canada) floods in the news recently. Residents claim to have seen a wall of water take over the town like a tsunami. My brother lives in High River, a small town outside of Calgary that was hit the hardest by the Alberta floods. His friends were evacuated from their homes, some heli-lifted from the rooftops.

Amazingly, even though we live a life overseas, the flood has managed to affect us over here in ChinaWe had everything we owned, stored in a sea can outside of my brother’s shop in High River. The sea can is now nearly completely under water and we have officially lost everything that we had owned.


We had an entire 2 bedroom condo full of furniture and decorations in the sea can and all is lost. Honestly, the initial shock and self-pity wore off in about 30 seconds and we have completely accepted this as a sign to move on. While others have lost their homes, who are we to complain about our furniture and possessions!

We were planning on selling everything when we returned to Canada over Christmas and now mother nature has rid us of our burden (and some additional cashflow). We’ve never been given a more obvious push in the right direction. We are meant to be on the road and this is just another sign that we’re on the right path.

The town is under an astonishing 4-7 feet of water and there’s no signs of it drying up anytime soon. Because High River is a known “Flood Zone” there is no flood insurance for the nearly 13,000 residents of this small town.

An Ariel View Of The Floods
An Ariel View Of The Floods

“We heard the flood warnings on the news, and by the time we could leave the buildings and get to our cars, the water was nearly as high as the windows of our vehicles”, said one employee of a downtown industrial rental shop.

One resident claimed to have been in the walk out basement of her 2000 square foot home when a wall of water burst through the sliding glass door. The sudden gush of muddy, contaminated water filled her basement in seconds and she was forced to race to her rooftop where she awaited rescue.

People have now lost their homes and have been stranded for weeks. The city of High River has been completely evacuated and homes have been under water since June, 20th.

The video below is of the RCMP, doing a search and rescue mission in the town on a small zodiac, tying off on people’s patios and searching for abandoned residents in their dangerously eroded homes.

Through this epic disaster, there have been some amazing stories of generosity.

Donations are being taken by Red Cross and they have raised $2.6 million to date.

The Calgary Flames Association (NHL) have donated $1 million.

The Tim Horton's Flood Doughnut
The Tim Horton’s Flood Doughnut

Tim Horton’s Canada has started a special “Red Rose Doughnut Fund” which sells a $1, limited time doughnut in all of their stores. All money will go towards the relief effort.

And perhaps the most remarkable story is of one Cambodian orphanage which managed to raise $900. They sent the money to the Alberta Government to aid in the relief efforts.

Our thoughts are now with the thousands of families who have lost their homes completely to the floods. My brother too will have to deal with over $50,000 in damage.

Water has reached record levels in Calgary as well. A hippo nearly swam to freedom from the Calgary Zoo and two giraffes may die of hypothermia from being submerged in the cold, dirty water for so long.

This Hippo Nearly Escaped Into A Flooded River That Leads To Downtown Calgary
This Hippo Nearly Escaped Into A Flooded River That Leads To Downtown Calgary

The Saddle Dome, Calgary’s major sports arena, was also full of water. The water filled up to the 10th row of the stands!

The Calgary Saddle Dome. Flooded To The 9th Row
The Calgary Saddle Dome. Flooded To The 9th Row

The damages of this flood will have lasting repercussions for the citizens of Calgary, High River and many other areas of Alberta. We hope that the relief will come fast. The Alberta government has already allotted $1 billion in relief but will that be enough? From the looks of the videos and photos above… probably not.

Have you been affected by the floods? Tell us your story below.

If you’d like to donate to help those who have lost their homes, consider the options below:

Red Cross Alberta Flood Relief


Place2Give Flood Relief Fund


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Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Written by

Nick Wharton

Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Nick's advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and he spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging. Learn more about Nick Wharton on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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