This is an acrylic painting I did just after the Alberta flood. That spring my daughter and her friends had camped out in my living room when they were told to evacuate. When they left their place they just barely got the horses out and had moved them to the other side of the river onto higher ground. The place where my daughter and roommate lived often flooded a bit in the spring but it was only a problem with getting in and out when the creek rose. So that day they weren’t expecting what followed. If they had known the girls would have taken out their other vehicles, horse trailer and horse tack.
No one expected what happened that spring and when they were on the other side of river the water started to rise there as well. My son was with them and had left his truck back a ways due to the road being partly washed out at that time. My daughters friend and neighbor decided to take them out with his tractor which he then used to pull my son’s truck in case he got stuck. It was a good thing as there was water up to the wheels. As they were leaving there was an helicopter circling over head with load speakers asking people if they needed help as well as telling people to leave immediately. They had left the horses there because they were unable to move them further. There was a small hill that became an island and that is where the horses stayed.
The next day my daughter’s friend and my son went back early in the morning to check on the horses. They waded through water almost up to my son’s arm pits and he is six foot four. The horses were fine and thankfully they did have a bit of grass to graze on.Most of that area was like a large lake. Where there had been roads a day before there was an endless amount of water.
In a day or two they were able to get back in to check on the house trailer which was fine. The water had gone underneath and around it. The yard was a mess for a long time. Yes, they did lose vehicles but insurance covered that. My daughters friends house trailer hadn’t been touched by water either. They were both fortunate that they hadn’t lost everything that was in both of their homes. If it hadn’t been for the trees their little trailer could have been washed down the river.
Their were a lot of people who weren’t as fortunate and it gave me an uncomfortable feeling watching it on TV but it didn’t seem real to me until I walked down the street and looked down the hill at water where a park had stood a few days before. That was one time where it was a good thing to live on a hill. Where I lived in Calgary it only looked like there had been a bad rain storm.
written by M.E. Hembroff