We closed here at Cottonwood on Thursday, not because we were expecting what we got a year ago, but because of heavy rainfall that was leaving water out on the golf course.
That’s the type of weather we don’t need right now, especially with the first anniversary of last year’s flood on Saturday. There are still a lot of raw nerves, but I think we’re better-prepared now for such an event.
The first thing I learned from that experience was how to run faster, but the most important thing we took from it is a realization of how quickly things can happen, no matter what kind of emergency.
In the past, the river would come up, but then it would go down and we were okay, but that wasn’t just a flood that took place last year. It was a disaster and it showed us how quickly it can happen and how important it is to be prepared as best we can.
Now, we have less stored in our basement, so there’s less to move if that becomes necessary. Anything that we have built since the flood is built back.
As a staff, we’ve always communicated well and reacted well.
Our superintendent, Tyler Patroch, sent me a message recently telling me that he was tracking flow rates on the Alberta government website and let me know how much water they were releasing and other important information.
We’ve made ourselves more informed and I think everyone in the area has done that. The City of Calgary deals with things differently now. You learn from your experiences.
These days, it’s almost overreaction than under-reaction.
I got a text from a member recently saying, “If you need to start moving things, call me.” I checked the river and everything looked fine, but I turned on the news and there was a rainfall advisory, but it wasn’t really for our specific area. They were releasing from the dam to prepare for the rain, though.
There are two extremes after such an experience, but I trust the process more now. At some point, we’ll get flooded in this area again, hopefully not to the same extent as last year because that was catastrophic.
I’m impressed with the stabilization that they’ve done, It looks like the flow is going where they want it to, but that said, we are still are the mercy of Mother Nature, so you have to do your best to react in the most efficient way.
We can never afford to have the loss that we had last year, so if water starts coming up, the bag storage is empty. Inventory and storage rooms are empty and golf carts are on higher ground at maintenance.
Last time, we got about four hours warning. Now, I know that we’d get better warning because we’re more connected and informed.