Signs, billboards and even public officials all welcomed the first wave of evacuees to return to the fire-ravaged city on Wednesday, June 1.
Though Fort McMurray is no longer in danger of being consumed by wildfire, more than 1.4 million acres have been charred, destroying 2,400 structures, nearly 10 per cent of the city, forcing more than 80,000 residents to flee. As residents return home, the feeling is gritty and bittersweet.
“The road ahead is still a long one,” said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. “Today is not the end of this story. It is not a return to normal life. And it’s not yet a celebration. There is still a lot of work to recover …This will be the work of years, not weeks. And it is work we will do together. Our government will be with you as Fort McMurray rebuilds. We will be with you as you face challenges along the way and there will be challenges. But we will find solutions to problems together…Together, all of us, will make this city strong, and whole, and even better once again.”
The sense of “togetherness” extends far beyond the city limits, as the entire world rushes to Fort McMurray’s side, including those of us at ECHOtape. Outside of personal donations to Red Cross efforts, we are proud and honored to help support the rebuilding efforts with our Canadian partners, Emco and Pazazz Printing.
Together, we have donated a full pallet of duct tape, relabeled with our company names, to help rebuild lost homes. As we all know, duct tape is the go-to tape for any contractors and can be used for a wide variety of applications throughout the rebuilding process. Emco will be on the ground distributing the tape to contractors and aid workers within the community.
“Our thoughts remain with all Albertans and their families as they deal with this unimaginable nightmare,” said Marilyn Edelstein, Founder and President of ECHOtape. “Their resilience in the face of such adversity continues to be an inspiration.”