Next week will mark the first anniversary of the flood in Southern Alberta, an anniversary that we’d like to forget due to the devastation.
Except we shouldn’t forget for a couple of reasons.
For one thing, many of the golf operations that were under water and debris have bounced back. Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun has been chatting with many of them and you can read his reports here, here, here, here and here.
That so many golf courses have bounced back doesn’t come as a surprise the way the community rallied.
Ryan Yip, who had just played in the U.S. Open, was back home for the ATB Financial Classic, a PGA Tour Canada event that was eventually cancelled, and wound up bailing out basements at his family’s and other homes in nearby Bearspaw. You can read more here.
Graham DeLaet, who was at the Travelers Championship, contributed to flood relief and other groups and people matched the money he raised. You can read more here.
It wasn’t just tour players getting behind the efforts.
As GNN blogger Tiffany Gordon, who was in the middle of it all at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club, frequently pointed out during the whole ordeal, golf operations in her area were constantly helping one another out and members rolled up their sleeves to help out.
Given what she faced, which you’ll see here, it’s incredible that we heard from Tiff at all. I encourage you to go back in the archives and read all of her blogs about her experiences.
Obviously, the damage wasn’t limited to Cottonwood as the You Tube video below indicates on a drive past McKenzie Meadows after the flood left it looking more like a lake than a golf course.
Remembering the flood is not only about remembering a community that rallied together with Alberta attitude. It’s also about looking to the future.
Shortly after the flood hit Southern Alberta, severe flooding in Toronto affected golf operations. The bitter winter in Southern Ontario left extensive winter kill that even defied traditional means to stop it.
Extreme weather events are becoming much more frequent and while we can’t possibly predict what will happen, preparedness as best we can is critical through review of procedures and emergency plans, insurance matters, better ways to monitor conditions and new technology that might help those efforts. Security of your operation can change in the blink of an eye as recent events have proven.
As the Globe & Mail points out here, Calgary is making efforts to be better prepared for next time, but this isn’t an exclusively Southern Alberta story. It has a message for everybody in the golf industry, based on the events that came after the Southern Alberta flood.
Over the next week. GNN will chat with Tiff and others about their experiences, how the flood is still affecting them and what they learned.