TELUS Cup Summary: Tuesday, May 17th

With kindness, Aynsley D’Ottavio was able to return to his home in Chilliwack after British Columbia was devastated by a historic storm.

When Einsley D’Otavio left Chilliwack, British Columbia, last November to attend the University of Queypie, she had no idea her return would be so difficult.

A Fraser Valley Rush spokesman had gone to Connecticut with his mother on a day trip.

“We arrived in the evening and my father sent us a text message that a storm was raging in our house,” she recalls. We didn’t get too much out of it. In British Columbia, we know the rain. »

After a long day of travel, the mother and daughter went to bed to be ready for their next morning visit. When they woke up, they continued to receive news of the unprecedented rains that had hit British Columbia.

“Throughout the visit, I heard excerpts from what was happening,” says Einsley. However, it was during the return flight that we realized that the situation had become catastrophic. »

A rainstorm in some provincial cities had spilled the equivalent of 48 hours of monthly rainfall. Dozens of rain records were broken, and devastating landslides led to the closure of almost all major highways in southern British Columbia.

Due to the heavy rainfall in the Fraser Valley as early as September and October, the latest rains have caused currents and rivers that are generally not at risk of overflow. Entire regions of the valley were flooded. About 20,000 people had to evacuate their homes.

Initially, Elisley’s father had to pick him up and her mother from the airport and then take the player to Langley, where she had to join her Rush teammates and meet the Northern Capitals. But during a stop in Toronto, she discovered that a storm had thwarted the plan.

“My father couldn’t come because of the flood,” explains the 16-year-old. We didn’t really know what to do. When we arrived in Vancouver, my mother’s boss was generous enough to buy us a hotel room there. We stayed there overnight, time to assess the situation. »

Aynsley was not the only Rush member affected by the floods. Forward Hanna Dodsa was at home in Chiliwak when the storm broke out. The 15-year-old initially did not pay too much attention to it, which changed when he learned about the floods and the rise of the flood waters.

“The day before, my friend and I were talking about a flood that was falling, and we were wondering if the school would be closed,” she says. We had serious doubts about that, but in fact it did. »

Fortunately, Hahhah and Aynsley’s family homes were protected from flooding. Hanna’s school was closed for a week and served as a refuge for the flood victims. Until her house was damaged, her city was isolated from the rest of the world and she has seen the consequences.

“We literally didn’t get more resources: we don’t have to spend on gasoline because it was not possible to refuel. The pantry did not have to be emptied either, as the grocery stores were no longer stocked. »

Because the highways were blocked by water and debris, Hanna could no longer get into training or Rush games. But it all had a silver edge: she could spend more time with her basketball team.

“It was good that it was time to relax, but what saddened me the most was that I couldn’t play hockey. After skipping the game and some training, as well as not seeing my teammates for a week, I was really looking forward to getting back on the ice. »

Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Einsley D’Ottavio called her teammates to find out what she could do in a match against the Capitals.

“We had a game the next morning and I wanted to know if we could go there together, even just watch the game,” she explains.

When she tried to figure out a way to get to Langley, she had an idea. Many of her team members had old equipment at home. Since she couldn’t bring her because of the flood, maybe we could patch her up for her?

“I came up with the idea and all the girls got involved because they really wanted me to be on the ice with them. It was as good as I was! That was really great. »

The idea no longer seemed so practical when jumping on the ice decorated with patched equipment.

“It was very strange. I didn’t even know if I could skate. It’s hard enough to get used to new skates, so imagine when they are used and matched to other feet…”

Despite the discomfort, Einsley got a pass with a 3: 2 win over Rash. After the game, another challenge awaited him: to return home. She, her mother, her blue line partner, Jade Lora, and her mother tried to find a way to get to Chiliwac without going through closed roads.

The group then headed to Pitt Meadows Airport, 32 miles from Vancouver International Airport, hoping to catch a small plane, but none were available.

“At that time we saw a helicopter service across the street. We asked if they had room left, says Einsley. I can’t remember if someone had canceled their flight or had enough free space, but they were generous enough to take us home. »

This was Elisla’s first helicopter flight, and she saw the damage from the first-hand.

“It was absolutely crazy. I couldn’t recognize the roads and I couldn’t see the highway crossing the city. It was even worse than I thought.”

However, despite the difficult circumstances, we could count on the generosity of the members of society. Several local hockey associations gave a hand to the victims of the disaster. Hanna Dods’ family has also packed sandbags in the park.

“It was great to see everyone helping each other,” says Hanna.

Aynsley D’Ottavio, on the other hand, is very grateful for the generosity that allowed her and her mother to return home. She remembers the kindness of the community to those who have suffered the most as the city has been repaired.

“Everyone has succeeded in helping farmers and people living in the floodplain who have had to leave their homes. The pilot said several aviation services offered free flights to people who could not come home and meet their families after work. It was really beautiful to see. »

After six months, the infrastructure is working well, but the flood scars are still visible. Now that the roads are open again, Aynsley D’Ottavio and Hannah Dods are thrilled to return to Rush and continue on their way to the Esso Cup.

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.