As water levels recede in Sexsmith, community spirit remains sky high. Many of the town’s 2,500 residents took to the streets in droves over the last week and a half to offer their services to their neighbours, friends, or, in many cases, strangers, to help out where needed to beat back rising water levels caused by spring melt.
Mayor Kate Potter says she has firmly believed for a long time that the community is a special one in the Peace Country, and this drove that home.
“It really stood out for me the care and compassion they have for their neighbours, and people they don’t even know,” she says. “We’ve had so many people come out… people pouring in, offering equipment and services, we’re putting a list together.”
Potter adds a special shout out has to also be given to residents in surrounding municipalities, as she says staff and residents from neighbouring towns and cities, including the City of Grande Prairie and Teepee Creek, have checked in to see if they can be of use.
Potter adds the majority of flooding hotspots in the township have significantly subsided, and, alongside windy and warm weather, the thanks must be passed to those who gave their time during trying times.
“We have a huge volunteer base and people seem to really care about each other… we couldn’t have asked for a better crisis response than what we have just experienced.”
The emergency alert for the town was lifted Friday night. The remaining task is to pick up the sandbags, which residents have been asked to do themselves to ensure physical distancing.