Jun 27, 2013

We Are Strong: Medicine Hat Flood 2013

Last weekend I found myself consistently back and forth between home and the river. The flood was commanding everyone's attention, and being so close to the action I couldn't help but document my view of the flood bearing down on my hometown. I shot hundreds of images at various stages of the Medicine Hat flood over a 72 hour period. Subsequently, those photo sets reached thousands of viewers in just a couple of days thanks to the overwhelming shares, likes, and forwards they received.

My flood photo sets:
Part 1: Flood Preparations
Part 2: Sunday Morning the Flood Arrives
Part 3: Sunday Night the Flood Peaks
Part 4: Flood Peak Continued 
Part 5: Scholten Hill Before and After

At the heart of this, my goal was to capture what I believed to be another defining chapter in my city's story. Having dedicated so much of my time to building a photo series on Medicine Hat since last spring, this disaster once again brought home just how quickly things can change. I shot these images for posterity, but I also did it out of pride and a genuine appreciation for this community and the place I call home. 

I can only summarize this event as an observer, but I feel for all those who were directly affected and waited in agony to know if their homes were alright. I also want to salute all of the volunteers, city workers, police officers, and the countless other support staff who helped to navigate this disaster. The numerous updates on the flood situation via social media were orchestrated very efficiently given the circumstances, and I found them essential in knowing what was going on up to the moment.

As the flood waters recede and things start to return to normal, I wanted to put together a video to showcase some of my best shots from the Medicine Hat flood and to try and contextualize what my view of the disaster was. Using various news clips, sound effects, and merging a couple tracks from Moby and Radiohead, I put together a reel of some of the things I saw, while trying to evoke what the general atmosphere surrounding the disaster was in the media. Here's what I came up with. 

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