Winnipeg company sends 300,000 sandbags to flooded Eastern Canada
St. Boniface Bag Co. owner says most of the empty sandbags will be distributed to Gatineau, Que.
Approximately 300,000 empty sandbags are on their way to flood-affected areas of western Quebec, says the owner of Winnipeg company St. Boniface Bag.
The large shipment left Winnipeg on Sunday and should arrive in the Ottawa area on Monday evening, owner David Harder said.
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Nearly 1,900 homes in 126 Quebec municipalities have been flooded from heavy rains and land waterlogged from snowmelt.
Federal and provincial governments told public service workers not to show up for their jobs in Gatineau, Que., on Monday over safety concerns and to allow emergency crews easier access to affected regions.
Of the 300,000 bags, 220,000 will be distributed in Gatineau, one of the hardest hit areas.
In Gatineau alone, about 700 people have been forced out of about 390 homes.
The community is just across the Ottawa River from Ottawa.
City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba spokespeople said so far, they have not received a request to assist Gatineau or surrounding communities affected by flooding.
While 1,200 members of the Canadian military have been deployed, no members from Canadian Forces Base Shilo, located east of Brandon, Man., have been sent out east, said a spokesperson on Monday.
Harder said it was fortunate he had enough bags on hand to ship hundreds of thousands out east.
"I'm glad I do have things in stock that I can supply," he said.
The company, which has been around since the early 1950s, specializes in distributing sacks, including sandbags, across Canada.
Harder inherited the St. Boniface Bag Co. from his father, who he said taught him to always give discounts to governments in emergency situations.
"My dad always taught me when your country's in bad shape, lower the price and help out your people," said Harder.
"I feel for them and anything I can do to help, I'll do my best."
with files from Canadian Press