moonbeamsfanfic: (Eye Colour)
The Global News Helicopter flew over Slave Lake today and got some very stark, very clear footage of the damage the town took. That pile of rubble at 4:50? That's the Town Hall. Yet the Canada and Alberta flags out front are still flying strong.


The video is completely soundless. I think it adds something indefinable to the images. Silence has a powerful voice.
moonbeamsfanfic: (Heroes - Matt and Molly)
The parental units have arrived safely home and report all is calm -- busy, but calm. Not even any smoke in the air, so the wind is blowing favourably for them. Although they have gotten another influx of refugees as some other small towns & hamlets in the fire's ongoing path are now being evacuated their way.

Mum's church hall is operating as a donation centre, so she'll be crazy-nuts busy organizing everything for the next few days. Word is they won't let anyone in Slave Lake to assess their losses until at least the weekend. Early estimates say over 900 homes are destroyed, as well as dozens of businesses. At this point, the fires in town are still burning but are contained and somewhat under control.

Since the relief aide is overwhelming in some places, there's a great well-organized blog at Rebuild Slave Lake that's keeping track of who needs what where. And I've asked at my Library if there's anything we can do for our unfortunate sister institution who went up in flames within the first few hours.

It's kinda funny, actually. There's not even a notice on the system catalogue yet that hey, those books you want which say they're available in Slave Lake? Yeah, sorry, not so much!

Go Canada!

May. 17th, 2011 12:09 pm
moonbeamsfanfic: (Canadian Borg)
Wow. People in Alberta and across Canada are donating so much to the relief aide in Northern Alberta that many places are actually asking folks to STOP sending food, clothing, and money for a few days.

Nice!

Speaking of... my parents decided to head back up north to add their own efforts, so I'll be getting some direct updates of the situation in a few hours, probably.
moonbeamsfanfic: (Thank You!)
Looks like the wind shifted over night so it's now blowing at 50km/h SE instead of 70km/h NW. As sorry as I am for those who've already lost their homes and businesses in Slave Lake, I am personally glad that this means my parent's home may now be out of danger. Mum was up at 6am this morning to check the news. The official reports still suck for details.

Still don't know if they'll be able to go home on Wednesday as was originally planned yet.

The dude on Twitter I was following last night, an EMS who was one of the last evacuees on the scene until four hours ago, seems to have done more than anyone to keep the world updated. He's listed as having 360 followers right now -- it was 179 when I went to bed last night. I'd bet it was only a fraction of that before the fire started. And that's not even including all of us who don't have Twitter accounts but we're still stalking his tweets.

So kudos and huge respect and thanks to @thisguydeya for not only his work on the ground, but his frequent updates and photos. You kept the world in touch last night, man. Thank you!
moonbeamsfanfic: (Tetris - Fuck!)
The news stations aren't keeping up with the fire updates, but I found a guy on Twitter who is updating every few minutes with photos from his cell phone.

His latest -- taken 7 minutes ago -- shows what's left of the Town Hall.

Damn.
moonbeamsfanfic: (Tetris - Fuck!)
Holy shit. Manitoba might be underwater with the floods, but my province of Alberta has gone up in flames. 97 forest fires, at least 40 of which are out of control, and one in particular which is going to change the lives for thousands of unfortunate people.

My parents arrived to visit this evening. They arrived just in time. A massive forest fire raging across northern Alberta is currently in the process of utterly destroying the town of Slave Lake and its neighbouring communities. Over 7000 people evacuated, at least 80% of the town already confirmed to be burning.

My parents live just north of Slave Lake. They had to drive through the town on the way out to visit me. Mum said she even saw lots of smoke as they went, but at the time it was still okay. Not so much anymore. They're watching the news avidly for any mention of the fire's progress, hoping everyone makes it out safely. The only highway in and out, HWY 2, was closed for a while but they opened it up again to help evacuate everyone.

There aren't many pictures yet, but Twitter's alive with on-the-spot reports. The local radio station made one last announcement at 9pm confirming their own building in the downtown core was on fire. The Town Hall and Public Library are both confirmed casualties. The Hospital was evacuated, but as of an hour ago was not yet ablaze.

Will be watching the news and the web for updates for a while, me thinks.

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