SUN Hockey Pool

Flood forces Calgary Flames prospect Ben Hanowski to seek higher ground

Calgary Flames prospect Ben Hanowski was evacuated from his home after flood water rose in the...

Calgary Flames prospect Ben Hanowski was evacuated from his home after flood water rose in the city. (DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI Agency)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:25 AM ET

CALGARY - Ben Hanowski is admittedly still learning his way around his new hockey home.

The Calgary Flames winger learned a lot about the city during Friday’s early-morning evacuation from his downtown apartment building.

“I’ve learned that people are always looking to help,” said Hanowski, one of nearly 100,000 people forced from their homes due to raging flood waters across Southern Alberta.

“I didn’t know how I was going to get (out of downtown). I didn’t know if I could get a rental car out of the garage and through some water to get up here, and I had a person come up to me right away and ask if I had a place to go and if I had a way to get there and basically offered me a ride somewhere. I’d never met the person before.

“I think that example, right there, kind of speaks to what the city of Calgary is all about.”

While most of the veterans have split for the summer, Hanowski is one of a handful of Flames’ youngsters skating and lifting weights together in Calgary.

The 22-year-old from Little Falls, Minn., has been sharing an apartment with centre Max Reinhart, but he was forced to find alternate accommodations as water spilled into the downtown core Friday.

“For me, it was definitely scary this morning,” Hanowski said. “I’ve never been a part of a dangerous natural disaster like this, and then it’s in a city I don’t know and I don’t really know my way around that well. So, for me, it was hectic and scary just trying to figure out where I was going to go and how I was going to go about getting there.

“It was almost terrifying, a little bit. And then I saw right where I was driving about a half an hour later (on TV) and it was completely flooded, so I just got out in the nick of time.”

Hanowski made his big-league debut just over two months ago at the Saddledome, one of countless structures to flood Friday. By early evening, the water-level in the Flames’ rink had reportedly reached the luxury boxes at the top of the lower bowl.

“It’s definitely tough to even envision that,” Hanowski said. “It’s terrible what’s happening there. From the sounds of it, there’s a lot of damage that’s been done and it’s going to take a lot of time to fix it.”

Added Flames defenceman Chris Butler on Twitter: “It’s hard to believe some of these pictures I’m seeing of the Dome and Calgary. Hope everyone is going alright.”


Videos

Photos