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After the storm; recovering in Inglewood after the waters recede

Walking parts of Inglewood along with area’s alderman, you hear the steady hum of a generator as you dodge a constant barrage of mosquitoes.

Inglewood incurred its fair share of damage but things in the southeast community ended up much different than in other parts of the city.

One of the big concerns was the river pathway that used to run along 8th Avenue SE.

The quiet inner-city street used to have several large trees and football fields of green grass that separated it from the Bow.

According to witnesses, that and part of the road was quickly gobbled up by the raging river over a 36 hour period.

A large path of land is now gone that used to stretch from the Cushing Bridge towards the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.

In touring the area with Gian-Carlo Carra, the devastation is something that still comes as a blow to this life-long resident.

“Below the Cushing Bridge it was a nightmare, it was always looked at as part of the natural berm system so it was never even addressed,” says Carra.

“What happened was at four times the rate of the Bow River was that the river did not want to turn left as it usually does, it hit that land and started carving it out,” he explains. “We lost land, mature trees and it not only ate in close to homes, the last block of 8th Avenue was really danger of falling into the water, there was also low-lying areas had the water gotten through and eaten in there, it would have back flowed the entire neighborhood.”

Recognizing that city crews were able to scramble and created a series of berms and jetties to hold back the flow so that it wasn’t so erosive.

In hearing how proudly he talks about the community of Inglewood, we don’t seem to make if very far before he’s stopped by a neighbour or a constituent thanking him for a job well done.

One of those men, a resident of 8th Avenue named Patrick who watched the entire situation unfold in front of his home.

He came home Thursday after work and found the basement was still dry and the river was starting to come up.

Then the trees that used to line the bank, one-by-one, were swallowed up by the Bow.

“The first twenty feet of the riverbank was gone, very quickly,” he tells 660News.

“I never would have believed that thing would have been eroded away like that, if you saw the construction of the thing, it was incredible,” he explains.

Staying with friends in Ramsay, he had been returning to his property after the evacuation on a regular basis to check on things like the generator.

Once the river began to recede, he was relieved to learn his home had been spared from any damage.

“Now I’m relieved and overjoyed and I can sleep and help other friends and family in the city,” he says.

His neighbours were not so lucky, some ended up with water, silt and sewage in their basements.

Patrick says he’s optimistic that he might be able to return home.

Officials however unsure adding it could be months before things on 8th Avenue return to normal.

Parts of the road have even fallen into the river.

He’s not the only one with damage; other parts of Inglewood are now beginning their clean-up.

Carra showed 660News his home along the Bow River.

Water cut a path across his backyard, creeping up the break wall.

He says it will be sometime before he and his family are able to return to their property.

“I had 18 inches of water in my basement and it left a nice slick of silt and sewage on everything,” he says. “I probably won’t be staying here until I’ve significantly gutted my basement; I imagine a lot of my neighbours are facing the same predicament”

“But we did fare better than a lot of other parts of the city, we got off extremely likely,” he says.

“The story is that flood protection works when it’s thoughtfully executed and in an emergency situation we have incredible crews who scrambled and helped save the day,” says Carra.