Record rainfall, combined with snowmelt from the Canadian Rockies, caused unprecedented flooding in Calgary, Alberta, Canada’s third largest city, and displaced nearly 200,000 people from their homes last Thursday. The full extent of the damage is still unknown, but evacuation orders for most homes across Calgary have been lifted, while the Alberta government has warned the cleanup effort could take up to 10 years.
As of Friday night, 25 neighborhoods in Calgary including most of downtown, were evacuated, and power was cut off.
The Saddledome, a 17,000 seat stadium, home to the Calgary Flames was underwater on Saturday, and much of the city is still submerged. The storm caused the heaviest flooding the city had seen in decades, and took at least three lives.
Over the weekend, Calgary food truck owners served food to evacuees, and emergency workers.
The Alberta government reported that 27 municipalities were in a state of emergency on Sunday, three bodies have been recovered and a fourth person was missing as of late Sunday afternoon.
Food Trucks to the Rescue
James Boettcher founded YYCFoodTrucks in 2010 in an effort to bring street food culture to Calgary. He works closely with local government and the community to implement a viable street food program in the city.
On Friday, Boettcher tweeted, “Will be deploying trucks within the next hour or 2 to get people fed. Will be updating as we find out who will be going where,” literally setting the wheels in motion.
Several of the food trucks were in distress themselves, but Bambino Gelato Sandwiches, Fiasco Gelato Truck, Jelly Modern Doughnuts, The Naaco Truck, Perogy Boyz, Purple Pastry Chef, Red Wagon Diner, Steak Out Truck, and others hit the streets in a coordinated effort.
A grateful Calgarian thanked The Naaco Truck for its neo retro Indian curbside eats, “Thanks for sharing your great food and bright smiles with a neighbourhood in need. I was helping on a cleanup crew and enjoyed the lunch. Thanks Naaco crew!”
Perogy Boyz, Calgary’s first gourmet food truck, serving Eastern European-inspired street food, hailed from its Facebook page, “Do you have a large parking lot? Community centre you can authorize? Calgary food trucks are looking for locations (out of flood impacted areas) to do food truck frenzy fundraisers.”
And Purple Pastry Chef offered assistance, “We have lots of trucks wanting to help out today, please let us know if there is somewhere where people need to be fed! #TogetherYYC”
The Red Wagon Diner teamed up with Cheezy Bizness, “Teaming up with @cheezybiz and heading over to Elbow Park to feed the clean up volunteers. Will tweet when once we get cooking.”
YYCHelps, a grassroots collaboration of local volunteers, is working tirelessly to connect Calgarians with the help they need. Volunteers and donors are encouraged to visit the YYCHelps website at http://www.yychelps.ca/
Boettcher has established a fund at the YYCFoodTrucks website at http://www.yycfoodtrucks.com/
100% of the funds donated will be used to cover direct costs of meals to feed volunteers and city workers.
Canadian Red Cross teams are actively responding across the province to ensure that immediate needs are being met. Help is urgently needed.
The best way to help is through financial support. Cash donations are the most efficient way for you to translate your care and concern into immediate, meaningful help for those affected by this disaster.
Here are some tips on what to do before, during and after flooding. The Red Cross encourages Albertans impacted by flooding to heed the warnings of officials. Updated information on evacuations is listed on the Alberta Emergency Alert website as well as City of Calgary website.
Those affected by floods can use the Safe and Well website to post messages for loved ones to see. Registering on the Safe and Well website is voluntary.
You Can Help
Share this blog post on Facebook, your social networks, and ReTweet this message:
— Stitches 'n Dishes (@StitchesnDishes) June 25, 2013
Make it Right
Founded by Brad Pitt in 2007, Make It Right Foundation began as an effort to rebuild safe, sustainable homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. Today Make It Right its knowledge of affordable green home-building with communities around the country and around the world.
Food Network favorites, such as Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, Alton Brown, and Nigella Lawson raise funds through auctions at eBay Celebrity for the Make it Right Foundation.