On June 20th when southern Alberta was hit by flood waters, the OH Ranch was lucky. We lost one bridge in the north pasture and the yard bridge will need to be repaired. There are a few cattle crossing points that we lost and we had to clear away some debris—but other than that, we were very fortunate.
Our neighbours in High River were hit hard.
My wife Deb, her brother, nephew, our son and daughter, a friend and firefighter from Ontario and I volunteered in the area for eight days. Rob, our cattle foreman, also spent two days volunteering with the Red Cross in High River.
We took supplies with us- shovels, wheel barrows, wrecking bars, sledge hammers, etc and helped clean out many flooded basements. The damage was incredible.
Amid all the devastation, the generosity of people was amazing.
Older folks who couldn’t physically help out brought freshly baked cookies and warm face cloths with tea tree oil for volunteers. People would come by and invite us to barbeques or provide lunches as we worked. One father walked with his 7-year-old daughter as she gave away her stuffed animals to children who had lost their belongings. Everyone was helping in one way or another.
The last two days were spent hauling refrigerators and freezers to the dump. MacKillop Fertilizer from High River supplied a truck and trailer and we took the OH truck and trailer in as well. One person saw our Calgary Stampede truck and said, “I can’t believe the Calgary Stampede is here with so many problems of their own. Thanks for being here.”
Here at the ranch, the garden has been harvested and the excess produce has been donated to the local Food Bank to assist those still in need. Our cattle have been moved to the forestry lease, where they’ll stay until mid October.