TransRockies Quest 888 (Quest #8)
6 months (May to October 2013)
10 trail running, mountain biking, road running and road biking
Target: 888 race kilometres
Completed to date: 85 race kilometres
Next up: Kan3, Canmore, Alberta July 5th, 6th and 7th
On Tuesday, July 2nd, Patrick Webb, Vice President of
the Rotary Club of High River, District 5360, sent out this
The High River Rotary Club again are very pleased to have
volunteers from several other Rotary clubs join us in providing
help to flooded out citizens of High River. Although the
number of volunteers was lower because today was the first day back
to work for many Rotarians in all areas, the spirit of the
volunteers was great. We have even had some volunteers come
for their third day here and they are still so willingly dragging
out sodden possessions, ruined carpets and soaked drywall.
Everything our volunteers do is intended to ease the
devastation which has been put upon so many vulnerable
Again we ask that volunteers come to High River to help in
this noble effort, coming to the COOP store parking lot on 12th
Ave, just east of Center Street between 8:00 and 10:00 AM. We
have masks and gloves ready to go for those who need them, water is
provided and all we need is a few hours of your time. The
work is tiring, dirty and so very rewarding.
I am a member of the Rotary Club of Cochrane, so I thought I'd
head out and see how I could help. High River is just over an
hour's drive South East of Cochrane and, as I entered the town, I
noticed the first signs of damage. The railway tracks had been
twisted like pretzels and sleepers stood up like fence posts. In
the silt-covered Coop parking lot, I spotted a gentleman wearing a
Rotary cap. It was Bob, from the Rotary Club of High River. He
partnered me up with Alan, from the Rotary Club of Stettler, and
asked us to go to an address on 3rd Street West and find
On arrival, we found the door locked and no Harvie. Checking our
list, we spotted another address close by, 1009, 7th Street West,
where help was needed. We went over and the door was open, and so
we walked in. Owen, the owner, gave us a tour. The water had
climbed three feet up the outside wall but had not reached the main
floor. However, the basement had been completely submerged and our
job was to remove the sodden contents.
Owen, is a retired business owner and all his records were
stored in a large closet. The paper had soaked up the water like a
sponge and Alan and I started to lug wads of saturated documents to
a skip. The work was hot, wet and filthy. The silt made everything
slimy and the tubs of debris were heavy and awkward. During a water
break, Alan and I chatted with Bob, a neighbour of Owen's. Bob and
his wife are in their 70's and have a number of medical conditions.
They have lost the will to go back into their house and they don't
know where to turn. They were finding it so overwhelming.
Later that morning, we were joined by Cece, a basement tenant,
along with Clancy, from Calgary Heritage Park Rotary Club, Anne,
Calgary South Rotary Club and Mary, from Calgary Rotary Club. The
Subway sandwich shop had just reopened and Owen bought us lunch. As
we sat around in the shade of his yard, he explained the
designation each house had been given. Yellow was in reasonable
shape, Orange needed approval on the electrics and other services
and red was basically a right-off. Owen pointed out three
neighbours whose houses had been classified "Red".
The afternoon was spent doing more of the same. We removed the
rest of the paper and started stripping the drywall. At 4.00pm I
headed off and walked back to the Coop parking lot. I passed house
after house, street after street, which had been devastated by the
Driving back to Cochrane, CBC was announcing that a bus shuttle
service would run, every two hours, from Mount Royal and Bishop
O'Byrnes School in Calgary to the Rodeo grounds in High River. They
interviewed a resident of the town who said that there were 6,000
homes, each needing a team of 10 people, over several days, to
clean it out.
It's important that these homes are cleaned up quickly before
mould sets in and they are condemned. The people of High River need
As the Rotary motto says "Service above self".
Quote of the Day
"There are only two days in a year that nothing can be
done. one is called yesterday the other is called tomorrow."
The Dalai Lama
The cleanup begins. Still lots to do.