With countless other Canadians I have been following the news of the record-breaking floods in communities across Southern Alberta. It is frightening to see waters rising at such rapid rates and to see rivers overflowing their banks at such a pace. Many people are traumatized by these events. As others have said it is unbelievable to see the downtown core of a city like Calgary silenced by a lack of power, and the need for people to evacuate.
It is good to read that many who have been forced to leave their homes are able to stay with family and friends. It is also good to know that in true Albertan spirit, those who have nowhere to go are being housed in temporary shelters and that entire communities are coming forward to help with food, bedding, medical care and friendship.
In this difficult time I assure you of the prayers of our Church across Canada. With you, I thank God for emergency personnel engaged in search and rescue, the Red Cross and the Canadian Forces who are assisting them and I pray for their safety. I have no doubt that some people are living in fear for those seen to be carried away by the floods and who remain missing. Already we know that a few families will be grieving the loss of loved ones. As we hold them in prayer, let us also remember those who seek to provide support and counsel. I think as well of clergy who will be drawing communities together, praying for the waters to recede and for the success of recovery operations and the labours of city officials, public servants and town managers to restore the flooded areas.
Please know my heart pours out to one and all. May God give you strength to meet the days ahead and hope to see beyond them.
Fred J. Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate