The Good News:
The NHL is back in Winnipeg!! Woo hoooo!!
First off, I should explain that I am Canadian, and up North, we tend to be a little Hockey Nuts. It is a part of our blood, our culture. Second, we WERE home to the Winnipeg Jets, but back in 1996, the team was moved to Phoenix. Seriously, I am sure a day does not go by without someone in the city crying in their beer about that. We have been trying for years to get a team back; yesterday it was announced that the Atlanta Thrashers will be relocating to our fine city. I hope they are paying those boys enough to buy some parkas ;) And some earplugs, because their new adoring fans are gonna raise the roof!
There has been speculation about the move for weeks, and the city has been whipped into a frenzy. Much of the city was shut down once the announcement was made yesterday morning. Portage and Main, our main downtown intersection, was immediately bombarded with happy, happy (drunk) fans. The big party then moved to The Forks. I pulled my 7 year old son out of school for the occasion to take in the festivities. Yessir, I did! Though I had him prepare a presentation on this "historical event" for class today :-)
I wasn't the only one, apparently. Here he is with a buddy and hockey teammate. These are the faces they made when asked, "Shouldn't you be in school???"
Here with Thomas Steen, former captain of the Winnipeg Jets.
A big old street hockey game broke out, for big kids and little kids!
Plenty of crazy fans (including "Auntie" and "Unkie"):
Dignitaries came and said their speeches, but basically they would get two words in and then the chanting would start.....Go Jets Go!
A very exciting day for our city, much pride and anticipation of the upcoming hockey season. And, a wonderful day of bonding for me and my son :-)
But, the very same evening......
The Bad News:
Massive flooding to Twin Lake Beaches, where we have our cottage.
Winds of 100km/hr created 8 foot waves on Lake Manitoba, which was used by the government as a dumping ground to divert flood waters from the Assiniboine River in Western Manitoba. Water levels in this large lake, which measures 125 miles long by 28 miles wide, are already at record levels and are not expected to crest for several weeks to come. Add wind to this, and it was pure disaster. In the course of an hour, a partial evacuation notice evolved into full immediate evacuation and then a helicopter rescue mission. Waters rose quickly, swamping roads and destroying cottages and homes, as well as the sandbag dikes meant to protect them. People had minutes to grab what they could and flee.
The press videos are devastating. We are not allowed to go and see our cottage for ourselves as the area is still restricted. We are hoping we have something left to salvage, though we fear that even if our cottage survived this storm intact, it may not the next as the waters continue to rise.
So, tonight I sit, and drink a beer.....
UPDATE: Some pictures taken after the waters receded. More pictures of the destruction here.