Can't sandbag? There are other ways to help

Volunteers have built more than a million sandbags to keep rising waters out of communities along the Ottawa River, but that’s not the only way people can help.

Groups looking for food, gas and other supplies to keep the effort moving

Residents, friends and volunteers work to hold back floodwaters on the Ottawa River in Constance Bay on Monday. There are more ways to help if you can't sandbag. (Sean Kilpatrick/CANADIAN PRESS)

Volunteers have built more than a million sandbags to keep rising waters out of communities along the Ottawa River, but that's not the only way people can help. 

Steve Cody is CEO of Ruckify, a company that allows people to rent items from others. He has offered up his service as a go-between for residents with pumps or generators or other items someone might need.

Cody said they're waiving any fees and encouraging people with items to rent them to those battling the floods at little or no cost.

"We could use at least 60 to 80 water pumps, 30 to 40 generators," he said. "You can tell when the requests are coming in that people are really desperate and this is a really tough situation."

He said people offering up their items on the platform can be confident that they will be returned.

Nick Saloman, left, holds open a sandbag at the volunteer station at the Constance and Buckham's Bay Community Centre on Len Purcell Drive. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Gas needed 

Chris Wegner is with the Rockland Flood Relief group and said he and his neighbours need gas cards to keep the pumps and generators going.

"It does take a lot to keep these things going. That is where these gas cards do help," he said.

Many residents are running multiple pumps 24 hours a day just to keep their properties above water, Wegner said.

He said anyone who can donate time or materials to repair the generators and pumps would also be appreciated.

They also need items for people working in the water.

"I have gone through myself, personally, three pairs of hip waders," he said.

Anyone with a donation can find information on the group's Facebook page

Ruth Sirman said donations of food to keep volunteers fed and moving would help considerably. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Feeding an army

Ruth Sirman with the West Carleton Disaster Relief Association said they could also use food donations to keep the army of volunteers that are filling sandbags.

She said they're not looking for homemade meals, but if people had water, Gatorade, snack bars or other items like that, it would help.

"You can't do this kind of work if you are not eating properly," she said. "This is hard-slogging work for a lot of people and people are putting in a lot of hours."

She said they have also received a lot of support from restaurants and businesses who have dropped off enough food in some cases to feed hundreds of people and they would be grateful for more large donations.

People can drop-off donations at the Kinburn Client Centre/West Carleton Emergency Food Aid at 5670 Carp Rd.between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.


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