A saviour from the Alberta Floods

Topics: Alberta, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
August 14, 2013

Carlos Ramirez says Elizabeth Vigueras is his family’s saviour.

On the day the floods hit, Vigueras, a mother of three young girls all under the age of ten, risked her life in order to save Carlos’ wife, Julia Elizabeth Santos, and their three-month-old son Derek. The two  were sound asleep in their High River home as flood waters rushed dangerously into the community.

Ramirez was at work when he first heard of the flooding. He tried desperately to get to his wife and young son, but emergency vehicles blockaded the streets of High River as the water levels rose at an alarming rate.  Thankfully, Vigueras was able to get to the Ramirez’ home and banged on the door for nearly ten minutes before the young mother woke up.

Water levels forced the women to set out on foot amongst other residents who were trying to evacuate the community. The residents found refuge in a coffee shop and eventually the two were reunited with their families.  Both families were unable to return home and registered at a shelter managed by the Canadian Red Cross in nearby Okotoks. 

“We feel like we’re with family,” says Vigueras.  “We feel confident, secure and relaxed.”

Despite the Ramirez family stating repeatedly that they would repay Vigueras for the loss of her van during her rescue efforts, she tells them not to worry.

“If I was in the same circumstances, I would do it again,” Vigueras says.

As she often reminds her three young girls, material items do not matter.

“We came to this country with nothing,” adds Vigueras, who is originally from Mexico. “We can do it again.  The most important thing is to be together as a family.”

To donate to the Red Cross relief efforts in Alberta, click here.

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