The world is a crazy, crazy place. We’ve seen a number of things over the past few years: devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes, and many other things. For many of these events, they can happen in areas which aren’t very close to where people live and can be easily forgotten. Not so this year.
Right now there are two major disasters that are happening that I want to focus on: the fires in Slave Lake, Alberta and the flooding in Manitoba. Every year there is a fire and flood season in Western Canada, and unfortunately they happen to come at the same time. Alberta is tinder dry, and Manitoba is underwater.
Parts of the town of Slave Lake have been completely destroyed by wildfires in the area. Not just a few areas, but as much as one third (as of writing) has been burned up – including their town hall, library, a mall, and many houses. Slave Lake is just over two hours North and a little bit West of Edmonton, and has about 7000 residents. The entire town has been evacuated, and people are being housed in various towns around the province.
The flooding in Manitoba is so bad this year that they actually had to have a controlled flooding of an area to relieve the pressure on the dikes that were constructed. This was to prevent an uncontrolled breach at any number of locations to prevent an even further loss. Many towns and properties are under water right now.
Thankfully there are no reports of many injuries or casualties in the affected areas. Property and posessions can be replaced, you can’t replace people. The people in these areas need our help.
I implore people to donate their time and funds to worthwhile causes who are helping these people in need. The Canadian Red Cross is a good place to donate funds to for immediate help, and foundations like the United Way are good for long-term rebuilding. I’m sure that there will be agencies and funds set up to benefit the people in need.