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Severe Flooding Affects Alberta IAFF Members

UPDATED June 23, 2013 – IAFF members across south central Alberta are at work protecting the citizens of Calgary and other nearby communities while worrying whether severe and dangerous flooding may affect their own homes and families.

The IAFF and 6th District Vice President Lorne West are following the situation closely. The Calgary Local 255 office has been set up for disaster relief operations for IAFF members and all the affected locals in the area. Local 255 President Mark Faires and his team stand ready to provide assistance, including IAFF Disaster Relief financial aid where members are dislocated from their homes.

Calgary Local 255, which has 1,355 members, is the largest among those affected. In all, there are approximately 1,700 IAFF members living and working in the affected region. According to DVP West, the City is in tough shape and losses will be very significant. The most immediate need is for donations to the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund.

To make an online donation to the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund, click here.

Or, make a $10 donation by texting DISASTER to 50555 (only in the U.S)

Torrential rains have led to shocking flood levels in the Calgary area, where up to 100,000 people have been evacuated. News images show rivers and creeks across the region raging with dirty, fast-moving water and debris.

Water is creeping higher and higher on the empty streets of downtown Calgary, and numerous surrounding communities are underwater. Affected by the flooding are Calgary Local 255, Red Deer Local 1190, Canmore Local 4705, Airdrie Local 4778, Rocky View County Local 4794, Cochrane Local 4819 and Okotoks Local 4829. There are 25 communities under evacuation order in Southern Alberta, and Canadian Armed Forces have deployed 1,300 troops to assist. The Hockey arena has water to the top of the lower bowl almost to the floors of the luxury suites, and the zoo has been evacuated with the exotic animals moved to the County Jail.

“For the next few days, several of our members will have the difficult task of trying to balance being on shift with the potential or the certainty of a crisis at home due to the flooding in Calgary and surrounding communities,” says Faires. The Local 255 Executive Board is asking members to come forward who are willing to help other members affected by the flooding and the uncertainty it creates.

Disaster alerts in British Columbia have spread from the Kootenay Region (south east) to Okanagan and Central Okanagan areas as a precautionary measure.

In addition, states of emergency have been declared in Medicine Hat (Local 263) and Lethbridge (Local 237),

The IAFF will continue to provide updates as they become available.

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