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Flood reflections: reporter Jayme Doll returns to Canmore’s Cougar Creek

Jayme Doll was one of the first reporters to get the call on June 20th last year that Canmore was in crisis. She left her home in Banff and arrived in Canmore moments before Cougar Creek washed out the Trans-Canada Highway, cutting off access to the community for nearly a week. She was the only television reporter on the ground with no access to a photographer. That’s when she turned to her iPhones.

One year later she reflects on her experience:

It was a time that tested me as a journalist and as a person. Canmore was essentially an island during the flood – nobody could come in, nobody could come out, meaning many people were stranded, including me.

I was left with two iPhones to cover the story, as many Global viewers know. The biggest struggle was trying to keep the batteries charged to file my stories. I had a car charger but a wire snapped on the cord and the entire town was sold out. I was staying in a different place every night so I would plug them in wherever I could. One woman I interviewed lent me one of her chargers and I am grateful to this day.

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My experience during the floods in no way felt like a job, or work. As with many Albertans, there was just a need for all of us to help, to do whatever we could do to help. For me, the best way I knew how was to communicate information.

READ MORE:¬†A “by the numbers” look at the impact of the 2013 flood on Canmore

There were many moments that brought me to tears, as I witnessed the strength and resiliency of people in Canmore, Exshaw and Morley: the school gym in Morley packed to the rafters with donations; the little kids selling lemonade for flood victims on the sidewalk in Canmore;  people handing out free food and hot cinnamon buns. Strangers offered to give me the clothes off their backs to keep me warm. One family made me put my sopping wet socks in their dryer and used a hair blower to dry my boots!

While the floods caused so much devastation and heartbreak, what I treasure most are the memories of how they brought people closer together.

Below: 15 memorable images of Canmore during the 2013 flood

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CANMORE, CANADA - JUNE 20: Houses damaged along the edge of Cougar Creek are shown June 20, 2013 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads prompting the evacuation of thousnds. (Photo by John Gibson/Getty Images). John Gibson/Getty Images
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CANMORE, CANADA - JUNE 21: Houses along Cougar Creek show extensive damage after heavy flooding. John Gibson/Getty Images
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Much of Canmore, AB remains underwater as rain continues to fall. Photo: Jennifer Tryon/Global News. Jennifer Tyron/Global News
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Residents watch the flooding Cougar Creek as it takes out Eagle Terrace Road (C) and nears the top of the Elk Run Blvd Bridge June 20, 2013 in Canmore, Alberta. John Gibson/Getty Images
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Flooding in Canmore. Courtesy of Erin Mielzynski.
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Bystanders look over debris deposited by Cougar Creek as it flowed up and over the TransCanada Highway after it was closed June 20, 2013 in Canmore. John Gibson/Getty Images
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A deck collapses into Cougar Creek in Canmore in June, 2013. Global News
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Excavators work on the Cougar Creek bed two days after it tore through Canmore, Alta., June 22, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward.
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CANMORE, CANADA- JUNE 21: Mike Sommers carries his dog Kratos through the floodwater outside his apartment. John Gibson/Getty Images
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Residents returning to scope out the damage, but police closed off many areas due to safety concerns. (Photo: Jennifer Tryon/Global News). Jennifer Tryon/Global News
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CANMORE, CANADA- JUNE 21: A woman walks along the edge of Eagle Terrace Road which collapsed into the river, looks at the destruction along the Cougar Creek June 21, 2013. John Gibson/Getty Images
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Residents watch flooding along Cougar Creek June 20, 2013 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads prompting the evacuation of thousnds. (Photo by John Gibson/Getty Images). John Gibson/Getty Images
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CANMORE, CANADA- JUNE 21: Equipment operators shore up the Elk Run Blvd. bridge and clear it from debris caused by flooding of the Cougar Creek, June 21, 2013 in Canmore. John Gibson/Getty Images
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CANMORE, CANADA - JUNE 21: A man operating an excavator works to shore up the flooding Cougar Creek on June 21, 2013. John Gibson/Getty Images
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Rubble alongside Highway 1A, connecting Canmore and Calgary, buried a dump truck and a car. (Photo: Jennifer Tryon/Global News) . Jennifer Tryon/Global News

 

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