Lisa Johnston from the ATB Financial Agency in Bragg Creek shares her community's experience with flooding.
On Thursday, June 20, the quiet river that runs through the small community of Bragg Creek exploded around us in a matter of hours. By some miracle, no one was seriously injured, but the devastation was unimaginable.
A safe estimate would be that 80 per cent of the community was affected by the overflowing river itself, the runoff, or raw sewage. Most of the hamlet was contaminated.
As a hamlet, we don't have maintenance or parks departments. We just have us: businessmen and women, housewives, teachers, chefs, seniors, kids, and one banker. But we all have something in common—our community means the world to us and we all know which end of a shovel to use.
With everything we went through in June, the annual Bragg Creek Days scheduled weeks later was more important than ever. Yet local businesses that normally sponsor the event had lost a great deal.
So I asked ATB Financial for a favour. ATB has a huge heart, and is a partner in so many rural Alberta communities. The answer was almost instantaneous: Yes! ATB stepped up to take on the entire cost of the festival this year to make sure residents would have something to look forward to and celebrate.
I'm happy to say the weekend of July 19-21, Bragg Creek Days was a huge success, complete with pancake breakfast, parade, carnival, dance, and an outdoor church service. Seeing the community come together in this way was truly a gift.
There's still a long way to go before the hamlet is back to normal, but I am thankful for everyone's safety, the help we have received from complete strangers, and the fact I work in such a strong, close-knit community. And I am proud to work for an organization as caring and connected as ATB.
More stories from the floods:
19th of July, High River (Sandy)To High River, with glovesA grand Alberta ladyLeaders start littleToysSites of reality