'I know what it feels like,' says man raising money for N.W.T. flood victims

Patrick Scott of Yellowknife remembers living in Fort Simpson, N.W.T., when the community was flooded 30 years ago. Now, he's raising money to help that community deal with another disastrous flood.

Patrick Scott started online fundraising campaign for Fort Simpson and Jean Marie River

A road flooded in Fort Simpson, N.W.T, on Saturday, one day before a general evacuation was called for the town. (Submitted by Val Nahanni)

Patrick Scott knows that $50,000 is not likely to cover the costs of flood damage in Fort Simpson and Jean Marie River, N.W.T. 

But the Yellowknife man said he wanted to start with a modest goal for his online fundraising campaign.

"I just didn't want to scare people away by asking for too much. I don't know how these things work," he said on Monday.

"You know, I'm not an experienced fundraiser — but I have had the experience of being flooded."

Scott lived in Fort Simpson in 1989, when the community saw its last major flood. He recalls having about three feet of water in his home.

"I know what it feels like," he said.

"It's not a good feeling and it can leave you feeling pretty overwhelmed."   

Patrick Scott of Yellowknife remembers when his home in Fort Simpson was flooded in 1989. 'It can leave you feeling pretty overwhelmed,' he said. (Submitted)

Both Fort Simpson and Jean Marie River have been evacuated in recent days as flood waters rose during seasonal ice breakup. Fort Simpson's mayor said Monday that about 700 people had been displaced — some staying with relatives or friends elsewhere, others camping out on higher ground and waiting for the water to recede.

Scott says he felt it was important to start a fundraising campaign right away. He set up the online page on Monday morning and by mid-afternoon more than $4,400 had been raised.

Scott says people in those communities are going to need all the help they can get — right now, and in the weeks and months to come. 

"It's going to be costly. And I just hope that we collectively reach out and help," he said.

"It means a lot when when you're in that position and you see people reaching out to you." 

With files from Jenna Dulewich


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