We've come a long way since June 20

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By Kevin Rushworth


Since the flooding hit on June 20, it’s now into August and one thing is certain. The Town of High River has come a long way.

Each phase of the clean up comes with its own emotions and frustrations, but residents have to keep hold of that idea that we’ve moved mountains since the flood.

For one second, think of where the town was and then take a look at where we’re at right now. Much of the garbage has been removed and remediation and reconstruction efforts are ongoing across the town.

Our community has moved from being completely closed, with military patrolling our streets to friends helping friends muck out basements.

The lift stations are back online, sewer services have returned and the boiled water advisory has been lifted. AESRD wildfire crews even cleared the train bridge of debris and many of them also power washed the sidewalks.

Each of these tasks and many more are a step forward. With every day that comes, High River is looking ahead and not behind.

Temporary communities are being set up, families are moving in and a temporary downtown is coming down the pipes for flood-affected businesses.

High River is still in the stage where friends are helping friends. Whether it’s helping them with accommodation, moving appliances or cleaning up, these are all steps forward.

These new developments would have seemed unthinkable just one month ago. However, there’s a long way to go.

Though it’s a business for the restoration companies, a great amount of thanks must be sent out to the men and women doing the dirty work.

It’s necessary to clean up our parks, our schools as well as our homes.

As seen by a recent tour of Holy Spirit Academy, the level of destruction is apparent, but the clean up that is underway is a bright light, much as it is across High River.

The remediation efforts in Holy Spirit Academy acts as a microcosm of the work that is ongoing across High River. Two weeks ago, Service Master, an Edmonton based restoration was fiddling with a sewage filled lock to gain entrance into the school.

Since that time, mud has been siphoned out, the desks removed and the long stage of remediation, deconstruction and reconstruction has begun.

It works very much the same way with the larger Town of High River.

Whether it’s washing the streets, sucking up more mud or remediating homes and businesses, these are all steps that have to be taken.

It’s easy to walk around town and be demoralized by the state of destruction that much of High River is in. Our staff has felt it, and so have you.

It may not look like the High River that you remember, but with each day that passes, the town becomes more and more recognizable.

The Town of High River has come a long way.




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