Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Flood

During my recent Goose Break I had a chance to visit Fredericton and help with a little of the clean-up. First, here is a picture of the house that I used to live in. It is a decent walk from the river so I was no concerned. But I got an e-mail that the power was shut off and Jaz (who still lives their) had to evacuate. She told me that the flooding was not directly from the river, but instead was the result of the drainage system backing-up. This flooding occurred within hours.

Next are just some interesting photos that I've come across.
First are some pics of Officer's Square.

Next, the attempts to evacuate the cattle that were stranded on the small strip of road that remained after the river flooded the fields through the drainage ditches.

Then, last but not least, the on ramp to the bridge that spans from the North to the South side.

The flooding created quite the mess. But the community has come together. The Red Cross was using the university residences to house and feed those evacuated from their homes. The city has a hot-line available to schedule the pickup of damaged materials. And city crews have managed to return public areas to some state of normalcy. It will be interesting to see how things progress from now to the time I get home for the summer in 6 weeks.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Goose Break

Well, I'm home... finally. The epic began two days before goose break began. Their was an avalanche (or mud slide based on who you ask) and so their was no more train. The primary mode of transportation for people and goods was not working and would be down for at least 2 weeks. So the military was said to be prepared to deliver food through plane.

Goose break is a time when teachers, most of whom do not hunt, get a last break before the last 6 weeks of school. Those teachers who had booked train tickets paniced, and scrambled for flights. The Newfies were kind enough to leave a day early and spend the night in Wabush so that teachers could leave Friday.

We arrived Friday, ready for chaos, but the place was dead. I got to the counter and was informed that the flight would be 2 hours late. Then had to split the cost of my flight between my ATM card (max. of 1000$, even though it was supposed to be unlimited) and my Visa (same limit). So suddenly I had the 200$ in my pocket, and two cards that were useless, and now a flight that will be 2 hours late. And I began to think... well if I had 2 hours and 30 minutes to wait in Montreal... and the flight is now going to be 2 hours late... that isn't enough time to get my boarding pass. So I paniced and called air canada. I had to try almost every option in order to speak to a person, and I was informed that I could pre-board and print my pass... well, this is nice to know. So we rushed to a near by home, and printed the pass, went to lunch and got on the plane.

I had a few mini-bottles of wine, and tried to relax. Since there is no security in Schefferville, we had to exit the plane in Quebec city, and go through security, eating more time. We talked about my need to rush to the gate... and realized that we lost another 35 minutes in security. The flight attendant, having overheard us, told me to rush (this is key later). So we land and I rush through the Montreal air port, the gate at the opposite end of the building (of course), I slipped down a flight of stairs to the gasps of the people around me... and got to the gate. The door closed, and plane gone. I found the teachers that I was flying with, and they told me that the flight attendant ,the one that told me to rush, said that if I had of asked she could have asked the plane to wait... yes, another thing that would be nice to have known.

So I rebooked the flight for the morning, and was offered a discounted hotel room by air canada (thank you), for 75$. I board the shuttle, and was rushed through the city to the Holiday Inn. The man at the counter, seeing my exhaustion, instantly sympathized and asked for my credit card. My heart sank, and I asked if I could pay with cash (figuring that I was over my limit), and was told that if I did I would have to pay a damage deposit. Figuring that I had nothing to loose I handed over the card and gave him a gentle warning that it may not work. He came back as I overheard the guy next to my making an appointment for the shuttle in the morning, the clerk had a smile, and told me it worked (thank gebus). I went to my room and tried to call home... my parents phone doesn't take collect calls, I couldn't charge the call to my phone (said I was in a different country???) and finally tried the credit card, which was now done for the day. I pulled out the computer and luckily was able to e-mail my pleas. I managed to get on the plane the next morning without incident, and have been home for just over a day.

It seems like every time I want to leave it becomes a hassle. I have to figure out time travel thing. Hope I manage to get back in one piece. Only 6 weeks left.