Thunder Bay flooding prompts national appeal for help
'Full recovery will take time – days and even weeks,' says mayor of northwestern Ontario city
Posted: May 30, 2012 8:25 AM ET
Last Updated: Jun 15, 2012 1:51 PM ET
A Canada-wide appeal for financial donations for flood victims in Thunder Bay is underway as the city tries to cope with the devastating effect on residents and many homes with basements knee-deep in water.
The Salvation Army and The Canadian Red Cross have launched national appeals to assist residents during this unprecedented flood.
“Thunder Bay residents have always been extremely generous to Canadians and people in other countries during natural disasters and emergencies,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs in a press release.
“We’re hoping to receive similar assistance to deal with the result of the extreme amount of rain.”
Known as the Thunder Bay Flood Fund, the national appeals will help homeowners recoup some of the costs of dealing with this emergency.
“Hopefully we will see an influx of donations to remove some of the burden off people who are coping with the cost of clean up and other concerns,” said Major Merv Halvorsen of The Salvation Army.
To donate to the Flood Fund through the Salvation Army call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) or visit www.salvationarmy.ca. To donate to the Canadian Red Cross call 1-800-418-1111, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.redcross.ca.
Hobbs also said he will request a special council meeting Wednesday to approve a resolution directing the city manager to take all necessary actions to secure financial assistance for city flood victims. Hobbs said the city knows of about 1,000 basements flooded due to this week's rains.
Discussions are ongoing with the provincial and federal governments. The resolution is required to proceed further with formal requests.
City administrators said there has been an outpouring of community support and offers of help, but now there needs to be a co-ordinated effort. The city and partner agencies are also starting door-to-door visits to homeowners affected by the flood emergency to assess the needs of residents.Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs said the city's recovery from the flood may take weeks. (Canadian Press)
"With help from the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, we will start door-to-door visits to homeowners in affected areas to assess needs," said Hobbs in a press release Tuesday.
"As well, we are working together to establish a fund to provide a way for folks in the community who would like to help people in need."
Focus on assessing damage
Hobbs said that, as flooding starts to recede, residents are reminded of ongoing risk and the city is changing focus to assessment of damaged infrastructure followed by repairs.
“Although the damaging rain and flooding came on quickly and suddenly, the full recovery will take time – days and even weeks,” said Hobbs.
The city reported it has received numerous offers of help and a Facebook page dedicated to the flood situation has many people talking about how to provide assistance.
Much of the post-flood woes have been exacerbated by the city’s sewage pumping station, which broke down in the wake of the flooding.
With the help of a temporary pumping station, the city is processing just over half the typical amount of sewage through the Atlantic Avenue Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant.
The city’s Declaration of Emergency will remain in place until further notice.
Logging road washouts
The Ministry of Natural Resources is advising the public to use caution on logging roads in the Nipigon area.
The recent heavy rains have caused some washouts and heavy rutting. The ministry says barricades will be set up at roads with known washouts or dangerous driving conditions.
Latest Thunder Bay News Headlines
- Flood warning for Thunder Bay and area, roads washed out
- Thunder Bay and surrounding communities are now under a flood warning that will remain in effect until Tuesday. more »
- 7 provincial parks closed due to Ontario MNR budget cuts
- Budget cuts forced seven Ontario provincial parks to remain closed this Victoria Day weekend. Three were closed due to inclement weather. more »
- Attempted murder charge laid in Pace Lake shooting
- A Thunder Bay man has been charged with attempted murder after a shooting sent another man to hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning. more »
- Flu shot for health workers urged by Ont. medical officer
- Ontario's chief medical officer of health is renewing her push for health-care workers, particularly those in long-term care, to get their shots. more »
Top News Headlines
- 51 dead after tornado levels Oklahoma suburbs
- A monstrous tornado almost a kilometre wide roared through Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighbourhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds up to 322 km/h. At least 51 people were killed, and officials said the death toll was expected to rise. more »
- NDP wants RCMP inquiry into $90K payment to Duffy
- The NDP has asked the RCMP to launch an investigation into the $90,000 payment from the prime minister's former top aide, Nigel Wright, to Senator Mike Duffy in relation to the Senate expense scandal. more »
- Will alleged Rob Ford video overshadow Toronto casino debate?
- A debate about a proposed downtown casino is supposed to take centre stage at Toronto City Hall on Tuesday, but it seems a safe bet that a still-unseen video of Mayor Rob Ford will continue to be a topic of conversation. more »
- Canadian on EI shut out amid foreign worker influx
- A jobless Canadian IT professional who is collecting employment insurance is upset because he now suspects several recent jobs he applied for went to temporary foreign workers. more »
- Unknown remains found on Dellen Millard's farm
- Police searching the farm of Dellen Millard, the 27-year-old charged with first-degree murder after the remains of Ancaster, Ont., man Tim Bosma were discovered, have found other remains on the property, but it's unclear if they are human or animal. more »