The Fort McMurray area is no stranger to forest fires. It is not uncommon for a blanket of smoke to cover the city throughout the warmer months. On May 1st, the blaze began burning southwest of Fort McMurray and by 4 PM on May 3rd a city-wide evacuation order was issued. A total of 88,000 people fled the city, driving past walls of flame close enough to touch and bearing witness to the wildfire’s destructive power. In total, 2,900 structures (mostly homes) were destroyed or damaged and in most cases there was nothing left except for blackened foundations.
The impact of this tragedy was profound.
For those who lived it, there was terror and loss during the chaotic flight from the city. Then helplessness and worry as traffic jams and lack of fuel left people stranded on the highway. But there was also relief and gratitude as evacuees were welcomed to the many centers set up across the province or strangers drove up along the ditch to provide fuel or water. An overwhelming feeling of hope was fuelled by the hard work of thousands of people across the province doing whatever they could to support the people of Fort McMurray. Those affected will look back on these events for years to come, but now the focus is on the future.
E Construction Ltd. helped build the city of Fort McMurray and we will help to rebuild it. From our North Division, 70 employees and family members were evacuated out of harm’s way. Some out of province employees were re-located to their homes to be with their families and many others were utilized in other divisions and/or companies within the Colas Canada Group. When Fort McMurray was cleared for groups to begin cleaning the city, E Construction employees joined the ranks. We will proudly help rebuild this community and continue to support our employees in every feasible way.