More than 100 days after floods ravaged Alberta, the Calgary Herald has memorialized the events in a book.
On Sept. 3oth, the Public library’s John Dutton theatre hosted 400 attendees at a book launch.
The main showcase was the Calgary Herald’s and Naheed Nenshi’s c0-published book ‘The Flood of 2013: A Summer of Angry Rivers in Southern Alberta’, which had been released a week before. The book is a collection of photos and stories taken and written by Herald staff.
“It’s a beautiful book, everyone should buy it,” said Nenshi, who wrote the forward to the book.
Already described as ‘a double Canadian best-seller’ by the mayor, the book has sold out at some Calgary stores, a clerk at Chapters said.
“I think Chinook got a few more today, but otherwise, (all the Chapters in Calgary) are sold out.”
The two-hour book launch event consisted of several Herald staff telling their personal experiences while reporting the chaos the floods caused.
“The first week was the most intense…and exhausting week of my life.” said Jason Markusoff, who handled the Herald’s live blog during the floods.
Stuart Gradon, a staff photographer for the Herald and a graduate of the SAIT Journalism program, praised many Albertans for ‘dealing with’ the flood as it unfolded.
He lost his car to the water and had to be picked up by Ted Rhodes, another staff photographer for the Herald .
Rhodes described coming across what seemed to be an abandoned car, only to find a man in it, clad only in briefs. The man then asked a relief worker nearby for a rope to get his (naked) girlfriend out of the car.
We lost some stuff, but we gained a community. – Naheed Nenshi
“The ‘tame’ photo appeared in the Herald.” Rhodes said.
Nenshi described how he dealt with the suddenness of the flood.
The mayor had been in Toronto and planned on attending a friend’s wedding after wrapping up some political business when he received word of the disaster.
He said he was blown away by the co-operation between citizens and civil servants, but was especially pleased with how the emergency operations centre in Crescent Heights, north of the Centre Street Bridge, worked so flawlessly.
He recalled his first visit to the emergency centre when he saw police, transit and civil servants working together
“The secret of government,” Nenshi joked, is putting “everyone in one room but actually listening to each other.”
Despite the massive destruction and heartache, which Nenshi says is nowhere near close to being repaired, he has faith in the people of Alberta and Calgary.