It was like any other day, until the doorbell rang

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By Kassidy Christensen



The flash flood that took High River by storm was a surprise to many, but for one resident and her husband, the entire day went by like any other, but little did they know their lives would change from then on.

Bonnie Wyatt, High River resident of 14 years, said that evening (Thursday) she made three banana breads, cooked dinner, and was just about to sit and watch the evening news before police came knocking at her door.

“My husband and I decided (we wanted) to go down and see where the water was, and then the doorbell rang. It was police telling us to get out,” said Wyatt.

Bonnie and her husband didn’t evacuate until around 6 or 7 p.m. the day of the flood, which was hours later than most residents.

The main reason why they didn’t feel to be in danger of the rising water levels was because their house is nestled in Sunshine Lake, a community they were told was very unlikely to flood.

“That’s why we built there, we built over there because they said we would never flood and we were on a bit of a hill and they said there was nothing to worry about,” said Wyatt.

To their dismay, and to their lack of knowledge, all that can be seen is the outside of their home with a water level that roughly reaches the edge of their back deck.

Sunshine Lake was one community that was not initially hit, but was flooded once the river swelled back onto the town about a day after the initial flood.

“I know that the basement is going to be flooded, but we don’t know anything else,” said Wyatt.

Wyatt and her husband had originally bought the land 14 years ago, and they built the house from the ground up with the help of their children.

“We were the ones that waited at the town hall to buy the property. We were fourth in the line and the lot that we wanted, we couldn’t get. So we waited and we finally got one that we wanted, and that’s the one we built on,” said Wyatt.

Now, all she hopes to have is a few things that she can cherish once again.

“All you’ve got is what’s on your back or a couple of little things, but you don’t have the memories, you don’t have those in your hands to say, ‘this is what I’ve worked for all my life.’ You don’t have anything,” said Wyatt.

Wyatt is unsure whether or not she wants to return to High River after experiencing such devastation.

“We’ve been there for 14 years, and loved every minute of it,” said Wyatt.

“I can say that I don’t want to go back, but where am I going to go. You just don’t know.”

All the while sharing her experience, Wyatt couldn’t help but well up to the thought of the sudden change in her life, but maintained her bravery and strong character.

“It’s been hard. You know why, because we’re retired and this is all we’ve got,” said Wyatt.

“They’ve (my family) been listening to us cry everyday. But, we’re getting better. The more you talk about it, sometimes it gets better, and it helps.”

Wyatt and her husband have been welcomed into the home of her daughter Jodie Macaulay, and although the shock still may not have completely set in, Wyatt stays strong and looks ahead to the future and where it might take her.




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