I was concerned with being unable to contact GNN blogger Tiffany Gordon, the general manager of the Cottonwood Golf and Country Club just outside of Calgary, which was evacuated Thursday due to the severe weather and flooding taking place in the area.
Tiff contributed a blog on the situation here, but we couldn’t contact her on her cell phone, but being the trooper she is, she got back to us late afternoon Friday, despite the dire situation in Calgary and surrounding area.
As this was being written, downtown Calgary had been evacuated and and the Calgary Saddledome was under water, with the Jumbotron destroyed along with Calgary Flames memorabilia.
“I’m a born and raised Calgarian and never have seen such disaster! Peoples homes flooded, the downtown core shut down and currently flooded, many communities evacuated and schools closed,” wrote seven-time Canadian Long Ball champion Lisa Vlooswyk on her Facebook page.
“The Calgary Stampede is to start two weeks today. As you can see the grounds are flooded. Knowing Calgary we will rally together and rebuild,” she added.
“Love you Calgary!”
Golf will surely be affected. Darren Robinson, general manager of the Kananaskis Country Golf Course, had this message on that golf course’s website.
“Effective immediately, we have closed Kananaskis Country Golf Course through this Sunday, June 23.
“In the past 24 hours, excessive rainfall has caused an overlow from creek beds on both the Mt. Kidd and Mt. Lorette courses. The region has issued a state of emergency, encouraging those in the area to seek higher ground,” said the statement.
Robinson said the golf course would continue to asses the situation and update once the storms have subsided. It’s not the only golf course in that situation, according to Ryan Yip, who returned home to Calgary after playing in last week’s U.S. Open.
“I can think of probably at least 10 golf courses that probably won’t be open this year because of what has happened. If they are open, it’s not going to be 18 holes,” said Yip.
“Just seeing pictures of downtown Calgary and High River and what’s happening there just kind of reminds you a little bit of (Hurricane) Katrina, obviously not to that scale, but it just kind of reminds you of what happened there,” said Yip, who arrived Tuesday evening.
“To come back to this was not expected,” said Yip, who travelled from Philadelphia through Ohio to play in the ATB Financial Classic, a PGA Tour event being played at Country Hills, which was cancelled late Friday afternoon.
“I know a lot of players have already reached out and they’re trying to help as much as they can, which is great,” said Yip, who spent Friday pumping water out of the basement of the family home in Bearspaw, just outside Calgary.
“We have the Stampede in two weeks, but all of Stampede Park is under water right now. That’s another big issue. If you can’t run the Stampede this year, that’s like millions and millions of dollars in tourism money,” he said.
“So, not only do you have the loss from the flood, you have the loss from the dollars we make from the Stampede,” he said.