Canada (MNN/World Renew) ― World Renew is responding to unparalleled flooding in southern Alberta that forced 100,000 people from their homes on Friday and killed three.
World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) is appealing for volunteers from Christian Reformed congregations in Alberta to help with cleaning up in Calgary, High River, Canmore, and Bragg Creek.
“We’re collaborating with provincial emergency operations personnel as part of the Alberta NGO Council,” says Henry Visscher, World Renew DRS Regional Manager for Western Canada. “We’re praying that the water will begin to recede now, and it will become clear how much assistance is needed in the short term.”
News reports from Calgary indicate that flooding from the Bow River and other area waterways has peaked after washing out roads, bridges, homes, businesses, and streets, but it has not begun to recede after a week of rain and four additional inches on Friday.
Police have requested that people stay away from downtown Calgary for the meantime, and provincial officials warn that more flooding may yet occur downstream and throughout the area, including Medicine Hat and Lethbridge.
“In the next few days, areas to the East–into and along the South Saskatchewan–will be bracing for rising flood waters there,” says Ulrich Haasdyk, World Renew DRS Area Representative for southern Alberta, “but Canmore and Bragg Creek have been particularly hard hit.”
World Renew DRS Director Bill Adams says that while the water slowly recedes, organizations and agencies like World Renew are on the move now, getting volunteers from the Alberta area registered to assist flood victims with the initial stages of the recovery, likely in the next week or two.
“We expect that volunteers will begin cleaning up around Independence Day,” Adams says. “World Renew is partnering with Samaritan’s Purse Canada in the short term, and there may well be a need for reconstruction work in the future.”
Ultimately, volunteers hope to bring the healing of Christ to a hurt community. “This is truly an opportunity for the CRC to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our own communities during this unprecedented flood,” says Adams.
Pray for the flooded communities and for volunteers with World Renew DRS. Pray for God’s name to be made known through relief efforts.
If you would like to volunteer to help with this response, please call World Renew DRS at 800-848-5818 for more information.
To give financially to help those affected by Alberta flooding through “Storms 2013,” click here.