Ever since Teri Runions moved to Calgary from Victoria, BC in 2011 she has heard about the “spirit of Calgarians”. It wasn’t until recently, during the flood event, that Teri, a Roads Maintenance Crew Member with the City of Calgary, actually witnessed this spirit in action.
“I’m just so impressed with the pioneer spirit of Calgarians. This was obviously a stressful situation but I witnessed very little complaining from people who were out and about at the time - the attitude was to just move forward and do the best they could under their restricted circumstances.” Teri said.While Teri and the Roads crews were in the streets monitoring water levels and closing roads as the flood rolled in, the support from residents and businesses on the street was overwhelming. Local restaurants and cafes made sure that none of the relief workers went hungry. The Purple Perk and the Analog Cafe handed out coffee and baked goods; Spolumbos sent pizzas over to the folks building up the berm; National Lounge on 17th Avenue set up a BBQ with hamburgers, salads and other extras for people; The Holy Cross Centre offered the use of their building as shelter from the rain, and their bathroom facilities.
The Roads team has been working around the clock, initially closing roads deemed unsafe or impassable during the flood, and now, opening them back up as City officials declare them open and safe once more. Since a local state of emergency was declared in Calgary it was not unusual for individuals on the Roads crew to put in 15-hour shifts and beyond. Thanks to the support of so many Calgarians, they are encouraged to keep going and continue to be a part of the recovery and community re-entry efforts.