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Flood 2013

June 20, 2013 – The Alberta flood hits Bragg Creek with very little warning. We are a couple of blocks from the actual river yet a small stream started flowing in our yard. Heather packed up the dog and two cats and drove away at the first sign of water. She and the pets evacuated in less than 10 minutes and the water was a foot deep when she left for higher ground.

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A few days later we were allowed back on the property and the volunteers started flowing as forcefully as the water. One day alone, we had 50 helpers. Family and friends showed up not just from Calgary, but also from Sylvan Lake and even the U.S.    In spite of our best efforts to just clean-up and move back in, in the end the damage was too severe. We ended up gutting the main floor of our cabin (this is our home and also houses our commercial kitchen). Somehow the 2 – 3 feet of water on the property did not enter into The CountryWood meeting space. Great news!

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Shortly after our demolition stage our contractor quit so family and friends pitched to work on the rebuild. In particular, our friend Shelly and Dad Marlin have been amazing. Shelly started helping while she was still on crutches after recovering from surgery for a badly broken leg.  She ended up being our on-site carpenter – building everything from walls to doorways to drop ceilings. Not bad for a cardiac surgery nurse!

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Marlin is a retired firefighter who just happens to have a built a house or two in his day. Restoring the kitchen and building cabinets from scratch became a father-daughter project for Marlin and Heather.

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262People helped with everything from painting and sanding to paperwork and gardening.  Neighbours manned the local response centre and ensured we had volunteers, equipment and meals. There were seriously so many people helping that we lost track. You know who you are and you are amazing. Eight months later we are back in our home and back in business because of you!! We are SO grateful.