THUNDER BAY – 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. “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. “Thank you to all the people of Thunder Bay for their support,” said Rob Kilgour, District Branch Manager, The Canadian Red Cross.
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 visit www.redcross.ca. You can also contact the Red Cross by phone at 1-800-418-1111 or by Email: WeCare@redcross.ca.
Bill Dell from the Valhalla Inn shares, “The Valhalla Inn would like to kick start the donation campaign for the flood relief victims. Anybody can come to the hotel and make a donation ($100) maximum to the flood relief fund. In return they will get a gift card for their donation amount, to be used in the hotel. The hotel hopes to raise $10,000 to be donated to the Red Cross for the victims of the flood.”
Mayor Hobbs also indicated he will request a special Council meeting today to approve a resolution directing the City Manager to take all necessary actions to secure financial assistance for City flood victims. Discussions are ongoing with the Provincial and Federal Governments and the resolution is required to proceed further with formal requests.
The City of Thunder Bay has removed the bag limit for garbage collection for residents and businesses affected by the flood until further notice. “We ask only people affected by the flood to take advantage of the no bag limit,” said Darrell Matson, General Manager of Infrastructure & Operations.
The City will offer a special large rubbish collection service that affected residents and businesses can use by calling 625-2195. “This is a better, safer option than dropping off large bins,” Matson said. “Larger items will be picked up within a few days.”
Residents and businesses across the City are asked to reduce the amount of water being flushed, whenever possible. All water that goes down the drain ends up at the Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant. “Everyone can help by doing their part to reduce flushing and the flow of water into the sewers until further notice,” said Matson. “We are continuing to deal with this unprecedented flooding and need everyone’s cooperation.”
City tap water is safe to drink [However, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit recommends those on private well water should bring the well water to a rolling boil for one minute before consumption].
The Emergency Operations Control Group has set up a dedicated phone line (98 FLOOD) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to handle the many requests from residents who need help or from those, including businesses, who are offering help.
The Red Cross with help from the Salvation Army and other partners will initiate direct contact with affected residents today, starting with those whose power has been shut off.
The Salvation Army is continuing to provide food and water in those areas most affected by the flood and a second vehicle is arriving today. Watch for the white Salvation Army Soup Van travelling around the city.
As flooding starts to recede, residents are reminded of ongoing risk and to take care when traveling in the area of waterways. Repairs to roads and trails will be ongoing throughout the week.
The City, through a temporary pumping station at the Atlantic Avenue Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant, continues to increase pumping capacity. The Declaration of Emergency will remain in place until further notice.
The following facilities remain closed until further notice: the Canada Games Complex, Churchill and Volunteer Pools, the 55 Plus Centres and the West Thunder Community Centre.
The short-term reception centre remains in place at the Neebing Arena with transportation available from the staging area at the Slovak Legion, 801 Atlantic Avenue.
Important contact numbers:
•City contact for offers of assistance and requests for help – 98 FLOOD [983-5663] or email@example.com – New Today;
•To donate to the Thunder Bay Flood Fund – 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or to the Canadian Red Cross – 1-800-418-1111 – New Today;
•Thunder Bay Hydro – 343-1111 or after hours 343-1002 – for electrical problems or concerns
•Infrastructure & Operations – 625-2195 – to report flooding or for questions or concerns about City roads and other City infrastructure
•Ministry of Transportation – 511 – for information about provincially-owned highways
• 211 for general information and details on reception centre
• 911 should only be called if there is an emergency