Remembering the Flood of 2013 with Michelle Birch

While the flood of 2013 is something we are all just finally recovering from in one way or another, and its still a subject some would like to forget for a while, there is a little healing in being able to process it as we reach the 4 year anniversary this month. We will be taking some time to chat with some folks over coffee or tea to talk about the experiences we may not have heard from that year of the flood. By doing this, we can further iterate that we were not and are not alone in our community of High River, and if that is one of the only things we have learned from the flood, then it is worth talking about. 


Tea with Michelle from Country Cuts

Michelle Birch of Country Cuts 

Michelle Birch of Country Cuts 


Michelle sat down with me over a cup of warm rose tea to be the first brave person to chat about the flood for our mini blog series dedicated to remembering and processing the events that year. 

Michelle is the lovely lady behind Country Cuts and Kennels, located out of Blackie. The morning of the flood, Michelle set out on her early morning journey to pick-up dogs in High River and Okotoks, for their weekly play dates and groomings. She went to each home as usual and one of her last pick-ups was a dog in the basement of a High River home and little did she know, not hours later, that poor pup would have lost his life to the river flowing through the basement of his families home.

Michelle, while not living directly in High River, was an unsung hero to the the families with a furry friends in need of a home. Not even three days after the flood, and Michelle was the safe haven for 50 displaced dogs whose owners were unable to get to their animals or even find them in the waters that day. Not only that, Michelle had other pets like rabbits, birds, and gerbils. She shut down the grooming and dedicated her time to tracking the animals and the owners of the animals to provide as much help as she could to those families in need. Her office even became a bird sanctuary. She fed and cared for all of those pets, in hopes to finding their families that summer. And even when she had luck in locating the families, those poor families had no home to bring their animals to, so Michelle signed up to boarding them as long as everyone needed. For the rest of the summer, Michelle welcomed tons and tons of families to her home in search of their animals or for those visiting their pets. The last dog left at the end of September and Michelle celebrated finding every pet family except for one, whom was rehomed. 

Why are we telling you this story today?

Because we made it here. Together. It's Our High River and we made it.

If you would like to meet for coffee or tea this month to remember and share your thoughts from the flood that year, contact Dani at