In Thunder Bay’s east end, a community has rallied to lend one another support in the aftermath of a flood that forced the city to declare a state of emergency.

For John Fletcher, who stands outside his home on McIntosh Street, there is a silver lining to the disaster that destroyed many of his family’s priceless treasures, including his brother's baseball cards, his mother's antique dolls, and his sister's wedding dress.


John Fletcher said the water came up so fast in his basement early Monday morning that the couch started floating while his nephew was sitting on it. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

"You got neighbours that help you out and everybody's sharing amongst each other," Fletcher said. "That's a real quality that's happening in our neighbourhood right now."

Just a few doors down, smoke rises from barbeques, where donated food is cooking.

Jessica Sharpe has opened up her home as a make-shift support station "just to help out."

She invited volunteers to prepare food for people and many people and businesses were dropping off food throughout the day. Sharpe has also been helping people find pumps, clothing and whatever else they need.


Thunder Bay east end resident Jessica Sharpe has opened up her home as a make-shift support station. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

"There's a lot of people that don't have electricity right now," Sharpe said. "They don't have use of their house."

Other volunteers pack sandwiches into a van and cruise the neighbourhood handing out food.

On Hargrave Street, Patrick Rybar and his wife are quick to offer praise to those who offer assistance.

"It's a small neighbourhood, but it's nice to see that everyone is backing each other up," he said.


Jennifer and Patrick Rybar said they appreciate the support they have received from their neighbours and plan to offer up help as well. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

The Rybars said they have their hands full with two children and a house that's not fit to live in right now. The basement was their living area and they can't live in the house because of the sewage that flooded in.

Nevertheless, they said they planned to head out to offer their help to others later in the day. They have an extra sump pump they will offer to someone else who needs it.