ALBERTA

Alberta Flooding 2013: Community Comes Together To Help

06/21/2013 07:06 EDT | Updated 06/21/2013 07:28 EDT
CP/ Jordan Verlage

As various towns in Alberta went through evacuations and state of emergencies, help from around the province and country brought the community together.

People flooded Kijiji and social media sites to offer their help, both to strangers and friends. From a dry place to crash for the night, to places that could accommodate pets, many offered space in their homes.

The Canadian Armed Forces were called to High River by RCMP, who sent in two helicopters and a Hercules aircraft to help extract people stranded by water.

The helicopters helped pluck about 30 residents off rooftops in High River.

"These are reconnaissance parties who are there to assess the situation, they’re not bringing in specialized equipment or being the muscle behind the sandbags," Canadian Forces spokesman Fraser Logan told the Edmonton Journal.

Edmonton police officers also came to Calgary to provide backup.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper flew in from Ottawa and was on his way to tour the hardest hit areas with Premier Alison Redford.

"I want to assure Albertans that the federal government has offered any and all possible assistance to the province of Alberta in response to the situation" Harper said in a statement.

"We hope for a speedy end to the flooding and return to safe conditions as soon as possible. We remain ready to provide additional assistance if requested by provincial authorities."

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was also praised for his calm, steady actions during the flood.

Approximately 1,500 evacuees were in emergency shelters, while the rest found shelter with family or friends, said Nenshi.

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Alberta Comes Together During Flood (June, 2013)

High River Mounties asked people with motorboats help rescue at least a dozen stranded homeowners.

Emergency personnel including firefighters, police, EMS, and city employees worked around the clock, assisting people out of homes and notifying them about evacuations.

A spokesperson for Defence Minister Peter MacKay said 354 soldiers are being deployed to the entire flood zone by Saturday.

By Friday evening, an estimated 1300 Canadian Armed Forces troops are expected to be deployed in order to aid efforts, said Calgary MP Jason Kenney on Twitter.

With files from The Canadian Press