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 Fridayís early-morning evacuation from his downtown apartment building.
ďIíve learned that people are always looking to help,Ē said Hanowski, one of nearly 100,000 people forced from their homes due to raging flood waters across Southern Alberta.
ďI didnít know how I was going to get (out of downtown). I didnít 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. Iíd never met the person before.
ďI think that example, right there, kind of speaks to what the city of Calgary is all about.Ē
While most of the veterans have split for the summer, Hanowski is one of a handful of Flamesí 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.
ďFor me, it was definitely scary this morning,Ē Hanowski said. ďIíve never been a part of a dangerous natural disaster like this, and then itís in a city I donít know and I donít 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.
ďIt 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.Ē
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 Flamesí rink had reportedly reached the luxury boxes at the top of the lower bowl.
ďItís definitely tough to even envision that,Ē Hanowski said. ďItís terrible whatís happening there. From the sounds of it, thereís a lot of damage thatís been done and itís going to take a lot of time to fix it.Ē
Added Flames defenceman Chris Butler on Twitter: ďItís hard to believe some of these pictures Iím seeing of the Dome and Calgary. Hope everyone is going alright.Ē