Mike Holmes Offers a Helping Hand
Two months after the flood that devastated much of Alberta Mike Holmes visited the area and offered a helping hand to families in need. Now he shares what he saw first hand in the prairies.
What first shocked him was the size of the flood zone, it was much bigger than the team anticipated. The people deserve so much credit for their unwavering resiliency and their neighbourly help. Following the flood the city was shut down for weeks, but when stampede time grew near the city banded together to hold the rodeo Calgary has become so well known for.
The town of High River was one of the hardest hit areas. The surprise storm flooded the town with not only heavy rainfall (in a short amount of time) but also from the melted snow and rainfall off the mountains. The extreme devastation of the area is because the houses were built in a flood zone. Normally houses wouldn’t be been built in a flood zone but because there hadn’t been one for more than 80 years the government decided to build anyways.
Talking to the families that were in trouble it’s obvious that they needed to focus on their priorities, because it’s going to take up to a year to get home. These stories are going to continue to be written for quite some time. Those that jumped into rebuilding their homes before the moisture content came back down to 15% are going to see mould soon, and badly.
What you don’t think about is that flood damage is immediate and heavy. It brings in mud and covers the entire house. Plus, consider all the damage from torn down walls and ruined foundations due to the extreme water pressure.
It was important to help out Gillian and John while there, especially because they have a Holmes approved home. It’s unbelievable how everyone just gave up their time and energy to help clean up the areas. Holmes had to wait for the house to completely dry out then build the house back up to code and gave them all new furniture. It took almost 2 months to get the house back up (with four shows filming) which is a really quick turn around. It couldn’t have done without tons of help.
“Things are really good, it’s really nice to be back in our home,” said Gillian of how far they have come. Unfortunately, there are many other people around town struggling to get back on their feet. Even the town itself has a long way to go. Help from the rest of Canada is welcome; the recovery efforts still continue even though the news coverage doesn’t.
One of the biggest things people should remember is to be very careful going back into their homes. There’s a lot of toxicity in those homes due to the mud, sewage, dead animals, etc. People are still in trouble and many are almost bankrupt trying to recuperate. It’s going to take time, but Holmes says that it’s vital to slow down and remember that family is number one, take care of that first and foremost.
To donate: http://www.redcross.ca/donate/donate-online/donate-to-the-alberta-floods-fund