06/22/2013 02:16 EDT | Updated 08/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Alberta Flooding 2013: Volunteers Help Those Separated In Floods


NANTON, Alta. - High waters that have been swamping southern Alberta since Thursday have separated many friends and families who have no easy way to reconnect with each other, and volunteers are scrambling to help.

People have been coming into the evacuation centre in Nanton, south of Calgary, asking if they know anything about loved ones they haven't seen since the community of High River, to the west, was ordered evacuated.

Ed Mailhot's job is to give those people peace of mind. He has been working night and day to build a database of registered evacuees and those who are looking for them.

"There are a lot of loved ones out there that people can't find, or they don't know where they are."

By Saturday morning, 485 evacuees had registered and 278 people were on the inquiry list.

"They aren't necessarily missing," Mailhot said. "But someone is looking for where they might be and hasn't necessarily been able to locate them yet."

Cellphone service was not restored until Friday and Mailhot said if individuals have not checked in with a call centre, no one knows where they are.

"It's still chaos," he added.

Karen Albert and Richard Preece had moved to High River just a week ago with their one-year-old daughter and had not yet unpacked when they were ordered out.

"We were lucky everything was still in boxes," said Preece.

The couple came into Nanton to register, since the phone lines were tied up. They don't know when they'll be able to return home or what condition their new home will be in.

"We're going to be out for a while I think," Preece said.

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