The city I live in has declared a state of emergency due to the worst floods in its history. I was evacuated on Thursday night because I live near one of the rivers that flooded. The city has been devastated and is still submerged. The city has been shut down.
I was lucky because I had wonderful friends that took me and my cats in and my house (as far as I know), has not been submerged because it is not ground level and is (hopefully) far enough from the water. There have been power outages, bridges and roads have been washed away. I have seen news photos of a police search and rescue boat cruising down what used to be the main road in my neighbourhood. Some people have been very badly affected, lives have been lost and the after math is going to be epic. I have been blessed to get off so lightly. Keep that in mind as you read the rest of my post.
When the police came to evacuate me on Thursday night, I was totally unprepared. I wasn’t aware how drastic the situation was and am guilty of not taking it seriously enough. At that point they were only evacuating parts of my neighbourhood but, it escalated really quickly. I went home and was having a shower and getting ready for a date when the police knocked on my door. They told me to pack for 72 hours and get out as fast as possible.
As usual, I went into full panic mode and didn’t think straight. My phone was buzzing every few minutes with texts and calls from concerned friends and my date. I threw a few clothes in a bag and some toiletries and meds. I packed up the cats and all their paraphernalia and started getting everything in the car. I hid my jewellery box, forgot my important documents and checked my place was locked up securely. We were required to tape an “X” on our doors to show we had evacuated. I spoke to some panicked neighbours as I ran – literally – for the hills. There was thunder and lightening and a torrential downpour as I tried to navigate the road out, avoiding the bridge that had already been closed by police. There were fire trucks out, road blocks, helicopters and as I looked back, I saw the river bursting its banks, flooding parks and cascading over the bridge. It was real. It was serious. It was terrifying to see the destructive forces of water. It came so fast that it was hard to fathom.
Staying with my friends has been amazing. They are my family here in town. Of course, it has not been good for ED because I have to modify my crazy behaviour around normal people. I am camped out in their basement with my cats and so is another friend so there is no purging or laxative abuse after everyone has gone to bed.
Part of me looked at it as a respite from the constant barrage of ED and ate happily and part of me freaked out. I am not in control. Brunch was put on the table and my plate had scrambled eggs (with yolks and 1% milk) and 2 pieces of toast. I never eat bread and I only eat egg whites. I realized that this gorgeous meal is so far away from my reality of what food is. It crossed my mind as I was fleeing my home to pack some of my safe foods but, I honestly didn’t think I would be gone for very long. I also (sort of) acknowledged to myself that only a crazy person would do that in the middle of a disaster.
Now that I have been gone 48 hours and have no idea when I will return home here is a list of things I wish I had taken:
1. All my valuables (passport, birth certificate, jewellery)
2. A scoop for the kitty litter (this one needs no explanation)
3a. More clothes (specifically underwear) as I only took enough for 2 days. I later read on the news that we were supposed to pack for a week.
3b. Socks 🙂
4. My ED safe foods – vegan protein powder, quinoa milk, iron supplement (1st world problems) etc….
5. Green tea
Strange things I did arrive with:
1. 3 books and 2 journals (don’t ask how that happened)
2. My yoga mat and workout clothes (I honestly believed I would go to ballet and yoga on Friday before they shut the city down)
3. Vegan snacks
4. A bottle of champagne that was in my car boot
5. Two eyeshadow palettes (wtf?)
Luckily I had my laptop and cell phone on me (I take them with my everyday). I was smart enough to pack my chargers when I was home packing like a maniac.
I have no idea when I might get back home. At this point they have no idea when they might lift the mandatory evacuation. Until then, I keep putting Bailey’s in my coffee (calorific) and keep trying to limit the amount of binge eating I do as when I finally get back to “normal” I will have a lot of damage control to do. The house is littered with chips, cookies, chocolate and booze and I find it hard to resist as we make this state of emergency “fun”. We can’t go anywhere as the roads are closed so our days revolve around meals and snacks (and booze).
We did manage to make it to a grocery store yesterday and it looked like it was under siege. People were shopping like it was the zombie apocalypse and essentials (like bottled water) had already run out. I did manage to find some tofu, vegetables and hummus. It was scary to see the mentality of people in the time of a crisis as the stockpiled food, water and petrol. For the most part, this disaster has been well organized, well managed by first responders and people have been helpful, generous and kind.
In the meantime, I am grateful to be warm and dry and well fed in this time of crisis. I just wish ED would stop clamouring for attention. Part of me is enjoying being “normal” with my friends and part of me is freaking out at the lack of control.