One of my favorite quotes comes from Walt Disney’s Meet The Robinsons,
Keep moving forward.
There is life before the flood and life after the flood. There have been heart aches, sorrows and miseries. There have been anger and frustration. Yet there is a glimmer. There is a hope. As long as we keep moving forward, we can slowly rebuild High River one step, one brick at a time.
Reading different news articles and blogs and different view points, many people think we got our just deserves living in a place called High River to begin with. The misperception is that High River is named so because the river floods every year. This is not so. The town was originally called The Crossing, as it was one of the few places shallow and calm enough to cross the Highwood River. The town then derived it’s name from the Highwood River, so named for the stately cottonwood trees that lined it’s banks. Yes, the Highwood is prone to flooding. Most flooding typically happens in the few low lying areas. This year’s flood was not typical. The hardest hit areas were never supposed to flood. Yet, I believe the Titanic was never supposed to sink. In the hardest hit area of town, the very measures put in place to help prevent flooding, worked against it to keep the waters in.
Now we also have to take a look there are many parts of town that never flooded. Yes, my house did flood this time around. No, it does not flood every year. The last time our street was known to have flooded was in 1942. This was prior to our house being built. Our house was built higher up than it’s neighbours. Our downfall is we have a drive in garage in our basement. This is where the majority of the water entered our house. We have discusses measures on how we can mitigate our property to prevent future flooding. Do we need to move? Most certainly not.
There are some people who want to consider moving. The majority of these people own the homes that were under water the longest. Also, there are many people who are newer to the community and did not know the history of the floods. It is sad to hear the frustrations among the citizens. Mostly is they want answers now, and no one is stepping up to the plate to take ownership and provide any answers.
If we were to abandon the town. Where would we all go. There are families that have lived here for generations. For some, this is the only town they have ever known. In fact, my husband grew up here, and we made a choice to move here to raise our own family. I love the tight knit community. I like knowing half the town. We have many friends and Ryan’s parents that live here. Our livelihoods are here. Ryan owns his own business, are we supposed to up and walk away from our dreams because of a bit of water?
I believe we should look at ways for future prevention. This was not a typical 1/100 flood. This was a flood of epic magnitude. Will future preventions prevent a flood of this magnitude again. Maybe not. Will they help protect against the regular 1/100 flood, I would hope yes. It would be good to work from both the individual level, as well as the municipal level. Houses in the flood fringe should receive guidance on how to mitigate their properties. It should not come from bandaid solutions of using steel studs and concrete board in basements. This may prevent a bit of mold from growing, yet it will not prevent the water from coming in the first place.
It will take awhile to rebuild. Yet we should never give up. We simply need to keep moving forward and follow our dreams.